By Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

February 23, 2010 -
The last month and a half has been extra special for Sara Hall of the Mammoth Track Club.  Besides setting an indoor personal best in the mile and nearly setting another in the 3000m, the 26 year-old placed sixth at the USA Cross Country Championships in Spokane, Wash., earning a trip to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 28 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

But before she books her flight to Poland, Hall will compete at this weekend's USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., racing in both the 1500m and 3000m.  A top-2 finish would put her on yet another national team.

Beginning at the Millrose Games in January, Hall set a personal best in the mile, where she finished in 4:31.50, just two hundredths of a second behind winner Hannah England of Great Britain.  A week later in Boston, she just missed a 3000m personal best by two seconds at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, running 8:55.17,

Using the Millrose and Boston Indoor Games as tune-up races for this weekend's Championships, Hall wanted to get back into the swing of racing on the track, especially the 200m indoor oval.

"It was good to remind myself of the tactics of indoor racing and how it can be hard to get around people," she said in a telephone interview yesterday.  "It was a good reminder going into these next races.  But I just love competing, and it was a good chance to start off the season on an exciting note."

This recent stretch of fast performances has helped Hall bounce back from what was a rough summer track season last year, where she finished 18th --and last-- at the USA Outdoor Championships in the 5000m.

"It's been really great to have the support from the key people in my life, they have really encouraged me and helped me build that confidence back after a disappointing outdoor year," she said.

If she qualifies for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, next month, Hall said she would discuss with her coach, Terrence Mahon, what will happen next: World Indoor Championships, World Cross Country Championships or both.

"I would definitely consider both," said Hall who finished second at 3000m in last year's USA Indoor Championships.  "It will come down to which one I feel I can compete better in for the U.S.  I'm not sure at this point, but I think that I would be more of a contender on the track.  But I will leave [the decision] off until after nationals to kind of take a look at everything and see what feels most comfortable at that point."

But no matter what happens this weekend, Hall is just happy to be competing back at the top level.

"I feel really blessed to be doing this and enjoying it," she said  "The sport can have its ups and downs, and so I am definitely thankful for having the momentum that I have right now."



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