Wednesday, June 20, 2007 11:18 AM PDT


Chad Hall had choices to make. He could go to the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., or be with his friends at Big Bear High School for graduation. Hall chose his friends.

The defending 2006 cross country national champion skipped a chance to compete for a track and field championship in the mile and two-mile and attended the Big Bear High School Commencement June 14. The national meet began the same day.

Hall said the decision to skip nationals was easy. Coach Mickey Hall said graduation is a once-in-lifetime event. Chad’s decision to stay with his friends reflects that.

Hall plans to begin training for next season when he will compete on the University of Oregon cross country and track teams. He is considering entering American Athletic Union track competitions during the summer. That decision hinges on whether Hall will red shirt his freshmen year. Red shirts practice but don’t compete. In exchange for not competing, the red shirt gets to focus on school work and train for the following season. The year does not count against an athlete’s four years of eligibility. Only one red shirt season is allowed.

Hall is confident he won’t red shirt, so training for the upcoming season is his main focus.

Hall’s training regimen won’t differ much from high school, so expect to see him running around the Valley until he leaves for Oregon in August.

-Brian Charles