Local Olympic Spotlight: Haddonfield, New Jersey Native Marielle Hall – USA Track & Field
Looking for her own shot at Olympic glory, New Jerseyan Marielle Hall heads to Rio to compete in the 10,000m.
Hall became the first athlete from New Jersey to make the U.S. track and field team, when she placed third in the 10,000m race at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She finished behind New York native Molly Huddle, and Emily Infeld. This came eight days before she finished a disappointing seventh in the 5,000m, leaving her with one event in her first ever Olympics.
Ordinarily, Hall specialized in shorter distances, such as the 800m, the 1,500m, and primarily the 5,000m. The ten is a relatively new event for her, meaning she isn’t as experienced running it, so much so that she had never run the event in a competition coming into 2016. At the University of Texas, she won the NCAA title in the 5,000m as a senior, and also finished second and third in the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Trials respectively.
It is very unlikely that Hall will come close to medal in the 10,000m in Rio. She is inexperienced in the event, and there are too many other runners in the world that are simply better than her. Even in her own nation, Hall isn’t the most dominant long distance runner, being outpaced by Huddle and Infeld. Sometimes coming at longer distances with a shorter distance approach can help break the mold and allow someone to succeed.
However, Hall’s times simply aren’t good enough to go toe-to-toe with some of the best women in the world. In the last Olympics, her personal best time would have only finished her 15th. If a runner from a non-East African nation is going to make the podium, she will probably be from Great Britain or Japan. Hall isn’t ready to compete for a medal yet.
Hall graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 2010, and then from the University of Texas in 2014, where she majored in government. At Texas, she served as the chair for Students for Education Reform board. As a kid, she joined Marlton Track Club in New Jersey. The 10,000m will be the first medal event in track and field at the Rio Olympics.
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