Last week, Kate Hall had the long jump of her life. At 22 feet, 5 inches, the high school student from Casco, Maine, won the national championship and became one of the best long jumpers in the world.
"I just took a couple deep breaths and went for it," said Hall. "I had a perfect mark on the board and I knew right when I landed, that it was a really good jump."
"Really good" may be an understatement. Hall shattered the US National record and US Junior record for long jump, and beat her own PR by a foot and a half.
"That moment was a really special one," she said. "I was really emotional when I found out."
She is now ranked 3rd overall in the nation, 9th in the world, and the top U.S. high school jumper in the world. Her jump has most likely made her eligible for the Olympics.
Hall says her success is found in her approach: a combination of passion and discipline. She has a regimented practice and training schedule, which includes five daily blood sugar tests and constant insulin pumping through a device she wears on her arm. Hall has Type 1 diabetes.
"It's always a struggle," said her doctor, Jerry Olshan. "It's a huge amount of work and it's very scary. I think many people thrive with it, and maybe even because of it."
Olshan explained that Type 1 diabetes, with its constant monitoring, can make a young person mature quickly. He said that Hall has been extremely responsible and dedicated to her health -- a trait that has translated into the discipline she needs to become an elite athlete.
"It's helped me learn how to work harder," said Hall, "and have a better work ethic."
Hall is preparing to compete at the collegiate level at Iowa State this fall.