LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Supported by family and friends on a wind-swept day just 90 miles from his hometown, Florida State senior Michael Hall closed out his cross country career with the Seminoles at Saturday’s NCAA Championships.
One of 38 individual qualifiers in the field of 255 on E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park course, Hall virtually duplicated his qualifying effort from eight days earlier to finish 132nd overall in 30:58.78 over 10,000 meters.
“It was what I expected it to be,” Hall said, shortly after completing the race. “I went out hard. I knew the wind would be tough, but I wanted to find the pack and sit with the pack and then go.”
Hall was inside the top 100 at 4,000 meters, but as the race progressed under blustery and soggy conditions, it was difficult to make much headway over the final half of the race.
“It was tough,” Hall said. “There was not much of a move. The wind would hit you sideways and then a headwind. It was get to a spot, tuck in and hang on.”
FSU men’s coach Bob Braman was pleased with the performance of the Cincinnati, Ohio native, who came to Tallahassee as one of the nation’s elite high school middle distance runners, and will close his career as one of a handful who competed in three NCAA Championship races.
“I thought Mike ran really tough,” Braman said. “The goal was top 100 and he was 10-12 seconds from that goal. He went out hard and put himself in the pack, but just couldn’t quite hold it.”
Hall earned his place in the field with an 11th-place individual finish at the NCAA South Region meet, where he ran a 10,000-meter personal-best of 30:58.5. To come within two one-hundredths of a seconds of matching that mark eight days later – in just the seventh 10k race of his career – was no small feat.
“I’m slightly disappointed because I felt like I should have performed a little better,” Hall said. “But having run a 10k eight days ago, and being able to replicate that, I’m not terribly disappointed.”
Hall’s presence marks the 17th consecutive season the Noles have been represented at the NCAA Championships. Reigning ACC champion Justyn Knight of Syracuse won the individual title Saturday, while Northern Arizona captured its second consecutive team crown.