If recent indoor track and field achievements make for a dependable precursor, Josh Hall should be just fine once Center Grove begins its outdoor season.
Hall, who placed seventh in the pole vault at the 2016 IHSAA Boys Track and Field State Finals at Indiana University by clearing a top height of 15 feet, is a senior undaunted when it comes to setting his sights high.
The process continues when the Trojans open their outdoor season Saturday at the annual Columbus North Invitational.
“I’m a huge competitor. Every meet I’m in I want to win,” Hall said. “I would love to win the MIC (conference meet), but the defending state champion (Carmel senior Ryan Lipe) will be there, and his twin brother (Mitch) is pretty good, too.
Story continues below gallery
“But I really like those guys and enjoy jumping against them.”
On March 2, Hall took second in the MIC indoor meet at the University of Indianapolis with an indoor personal-best of 14-6. He made it over 14 feet at an event at DePauw University, bypassed 14-6 and then narrowly missed making 15 feet.
Not content with the ribbons and medals he won during his breakout junior season, Hall addressed what he felt were any perceived weaknesses in his 16-step (eight left, eight right) approach during the offseason.
“I worked on my runway speed a lot. I walk kind of pigeon-toed, so we worked a lot on foot placement,” Hall said. “Strengthening my hamstrings and glutes has helped.”
An excellent student (3.9 grade-point average), Hall plans to major in business once he gets to college.
Where that is remains to be seen.
Indiana University has offered Hall a spot in its men’s track and field program as a walk-on, and he has been accepted into IU’s prestigious Kelley School of Business.
Another possibility is the University of Louisville, which offered Hall a partial scholarship.
By the time the Trojans take part in sectional, Hall’s objective is to be making jumps of 16 feet. This, he feels, could secure a top-three finish at the state meet.
If he so desired, Hall could be an impact performer in a number of events, according to Center Grove coach Eric Moore.
“Josh is an excellent athlete who was a two-sport athlete until this season,” Moore said. “He quit football to concentrate on pole vault, but he could be a sprinter, a middle-distance kid or a long jumper.
“He’s a real junkie for (pole vault), and we have high expectations for him.”
Hall’s expectations for himself are at least as high.
A breakdown of Josh Hall’s 2016 postseason in the pole vault competition:
Columbus North Sectional;1st;14-6