MISSOULA, Mont. -

Heading into the final track season of her career, Griz heptathlete Lindsey Hall has had her sights set on a trip to outdoor nationals for a long time.

"Yeah that's definitely been a goal of mine since we came back in August,” said Hall.  “You know, I started planning on that nine months out so every day I tell myself that I deserve to be there.”

Hall has been dominant in the multi-events this spring.  Her season best score of 5550 is tops in the Big Sky.  It also ranks her 11th in the nation and is a near-guaranteed ticket to nationals.

“For Lindsey in the past it’s always been about going to conference and hoping to qualify for nationals at the conference meet, which is a lot of pressure,” said UM track and field head coach Brian Schweyen.  “The biggest thing for her is to have it out of the way, now she can relax and concentrate on a lot of her other events and look to improve all of her marks as well as garner a few more school records along the way.” 

This Missoula Big Sky graduate has already broken a Griz school record three different times this spring but she's far from satisfied.  When hall makes her return trip to nationals this spring she'll be looking for redemption from her appearance there in 2011.

“Less than my best definitely as a performance there but it was my first trip as a sophomore,” said Hall.  “I was young and a lot less stable mentally than I am now so I’m excited to get back there and compete with the best and be among them.”

Senior teammate Austin Emry is also hoping for a trip to nationals this year.  These two athletes have been working together and pushing each other for the past five years in Missoula.

“They probably hate me for saying this but they’re almost like brother-sister,” said Schweyen.  “I mean they have such a great relationship.  They are there for each other.  They help each other and they’re so similar in many ways.”

“You know we’ve had a special relationship from day one,” agreed Hall. “Coming in and being here for five years together and going through a lot.”

“We’re always battling injuries and doing this and that,” said Emry. “And so right from day one it’s been a great relationship.”

The Missoula native has definitely had an amazing career right here at the University of Montana and she’s left a mark on this track and field program.

“There’s not a lot of athletes like Lindsey that you get the opportunity to coach throughout a career so to have her is awful special,” said Schweyen.

“You know overall I’m blessed to have the opportunity to stay here and run at home in front of a crowd that I know and love,” concluded Hall about her Griz career.