A-J cross country runner Hall records personal best time at sectional event

Only one runner advanced to the sectional for the Anna-Jonesboro Community High School cross country team.

Freshman Julia Hall advanced out of  the Carterville regional to the Benton sectional.

“I wasn’t really surprised that she made it out of regionals,” Cross country coach Matt Denny said. “Julia has been running for several years, so she knows what she needs to do when it really counts.”

Saturday, Oct. 28, at the sectional at Benton was a very cold morning. It was 36 degrees when the runners took to the course at 10 a.m.

“It definitely wasn’t a very comfortable day to watch a cross country meet. But it didn’t seem to affect the runners,” Denny said.

Hall covered the 3-mile course in 19:44, which was a personal best by almost 1:30.

“We thought she would have a chance to advance to state if she ran under 20 minutes – she wasn’t too far off,” Denny said. 

Hall finished 27th out of 150 runners. The top five teams advance as well as the next seven individual runners not on an advancing team.

“She would have easily  qualified last  year,” Denny said. 

“But that’s just how it goes from year to year. I think it has lit a fire under her to make it to state next year, which I think is a very attainable goal for her. 

“I am very proud of how she stepped up being there by herself and not letting it get to her. I look forward to next year and to see where she and some of her teammates finish as well.”

The Gazette-Democrat

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