Casco resident Kate Hall will head to the Olympic Trials in June in the hopes of securing a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team. Courtesy photo

CASCO — In five months, local long jumper Kate Hall will head to Eugene, Oregon, to compete in the Track and Field Olympic Trials in the hopes of making the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team.

Hall, 23, graduated from Lake Region High School in 2015, where she achieved national acclaim during her senior year when she broke the national high school long jump record with a leap of 22-5. She recently returned to Casco, after attending college for a few years, to train with her strength and conditioning coach from high school, Chris Pribish.

Hall came in 10th in the long jump at the 2016 Olympic Trials and will need to earn a place in the top three in order to compete in Tokyo. Courtesy photo

Only the top three competitors will compete in Tokyo later this summer, and she placed 10th at the Olympic Trials in 2016.

But in 2016, she said, she was dealing “with some small injuries and over-training” and would have liked more time to prepare.

“It would have been hard (to make the team in 2016) after such a hard year,” she said, “now I’m a lot more consistent and confident.”

Hall said she does not train every day, although some people erroneously assume that training for the Olympics means training for hours each day.

“I’m training about two hours a day,” she said. “In those two hours, I’m working really really hard and everything’s high intensity.”

But she also has days off to recover. As a Type 1 diabetic, her body needs longer than other athletes’ to recover, so those rest days are crucial. She said taking days off is the key to her success.

While training, Hall is also working as an assistant cross country coach at Saint Joseph’s college. Courtesy photo

It’s very individualized training,” she said, including a lot of lifting and days on the track. “Everything is very take it day-by-day. It’s not a set schedule. For me, needing more recovery than other athletes, it’s really important to take it day-by-day.”

In addition to training, Hall is working as an assistant coach of the cross country team at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.

Head Coach Tom Dann said the athletes “have really bought into her coaching style.”

She wants to educate the athletes as to what needs to be done and why, and then they want to do it because they believe in her,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have her in our program.”

Hall is also taking online classes through Eastern Oregon University to complete a degree in exercise science.

She said she has received a lot of community support, saying, “Everyone was very very excited and happy for me.”

Twenty-three years old is still young for a long jumper, Hall said, and peak age is often 26 or 27. Even if she does not make the team this year, 2024 “will be when I’ll be peaking, my peak age.”

Still, she is feeling confident about the two-day Olympic Trials in June, saying, “Last year was definitely my most consistent year.”

“We really hope that she can achieve her goals,” Dann said. “We’d love to see her in the Olympics. We’re hoping for the best.”

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