June 17, 2012

Army Track: Something Special Being Build

Grand Prairie (Tx.) South Grand Prairie athlete Abraham Hall is a pretty decent ball player on the gridiron. However, put the 5-foot-9, 165 pounder on the track and he is one of the best in the entire country where he runs the 100 meters and 200 meters.

At the conclusion of last track season, Hall raced his way to Texas titles in the 100M and 200m, as he blazed his way into the books with times of 10.19 and 20.58 respectively.

GoBlackKnights.com initially caught up with Hall, who was en route to Bloomington, Indiana to face of face against the best of the best from June 15th to the 17th at the 2012 USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

For track fans, the venue provides glimpse of the future of USA Track & Field as the best high school standouts and the most promising college freshmen face off at one of America's premier venues. The meet serves as a qualifier for this year's IAAF World Junior Championships, where the top performers will be part of the American team that will compete in Barcelona, Spain from July 10th to July 15th.

I know there will be the stiff competition in both events," declares Hall had posted the fastest time in the nation in the 100-meter dash at the 5A state meet at 10.19 seconds and just .04 off the state record set by Greenville's Henry Neal in 1990.

However, Hall was and is not satisfied with those numbers and feels that he can do much better. "Yes, I hit 10.19, but ran a wind added 9.74," says the confident trackster. "Right now I'm number one in the nation in the 100M and #2 in the nation in the 200M."

West Point Bound

With such outstanding track time on his resume and coming out of Texas where Hall has raced against some of the top sprinters in the nation, one may ask why would one of the top high school sprinters in the nation in 2012, by pass such elite and/or big name track programs that produce potential olympic athletes and pledge to Army?. "It's a lot of them (offers), but I don't pay too much attention at this point, " says Hall, who indicated that he had offers for track from Texas, FSU, UCLA, TCU and other. "First let me say that I'm very excited about my decision to attend West Point."
Hall was quick to point out that West Point's reputation alone is a selling point. "Going to West Point is a great opportunity, it's a really really good education and it's good for future benefits. Not too many people look at that when they go to college, especially now a days. They offer everything that I need, not necessarily. that I want to have. I would love to go to party and stuff like that, but do want to have a future too."
But even beyond Hall's assessment, track at Army is different than the other core sports, because track & field falls under the category of being an olympic sport.

Hence, the coaching staff can also promote what is Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) Program.
WCAP is a program that provides outstanding soldier-athletes with support and training to compete and succeed in national and international competitions and in the Olympic Games. So if an athlete like Hall can hit the Olympic eight standard three years in advance they are eligible to get into the WCAP program.
Many Army football fans are hoping that like his speed counterpart from Florida, Marvin Bracy who committed to play football at FSU, as well as run track ..... that Hall will pursue a dual sports career with the Black Knights.
However, Hall made it clear that he has no plans on putting on the helmet and shoulder pads just yet. But this has less to do with his enjoyment or non-enjoyment of the game, versus some physical challenges that currently hinder his ability to play football.
"I have a tumor in my hand and I have to have that taken out before anything," says Hall. "That's what has been limiting me in football. After I have that taken out, I will have a better time to decide ... as of now, not so much."
Hall was actually recruited by Army's football staff and more specifically, defensive tackle coach, John Mumford who went down to Hall's high school to recruit the speedy athlete. On the track side of the equation, Assistant Coach Rondell Ruff handled Hall's recruiting. "Our relationship is real good," says Hall referring to Ruff."
As the conversation on Friday moved back to track, Hall noted that he would have another shot at the 100M crown. "I'm in the finals, where I ran a 10.5 (4th)," says Hall of his qualifying preliminary race.
He is ran the 100M (Friday) and 200M (Saturday).  As noted, Hall registered a 10.5 in the preliminaries in the 100M and qualified for the finals. He told us on Saturday that FSU bound Marvin Bracy, who has the best sanctioned 100M time (10.06) coming into the event, wasn't on hand, but there is plenty of competition with sprinters such as Aaron Ernest freshman from LSU, Arthur Delaney frosh from Oregon, Tyreek Hill, Cameron Burrell and others.

Build It and They Will Come

The incoming class is deep and solid, however that just may be the tip of the iceberg for this group of track coaches.

Our goal is to eventually have the number one recruiting class in the country," says Assistant Track Coach Rondell Ruff, who is in his first year at Army. "Next year I plan for us to be in the top ten and by the 2014 recruiting class I plan on having the number one recruiting class in the country .... that's my goal. That's going to mean getting some of the top kids in every event across the board to do that.
With coaches like Ruff, they are very forthcoming with prospects relative to what they are getting into when it comes to West Point and the highlights. Which is the human and leadership development.


Just weeks removed from completing their first year at West Point, Army track standouts Jennifer Comfort and Lisa Junta will continue their seasons at the U.S.A. Junior Outdoor Championships at Indiana University.

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