A former Raytown South High track and field star is now an NCAA national champion.
Quincy Hall, a former All-Metro teamer now running as a junior for South Carolina, raced to the men’s 400-meter hurdles title Friday at the NCAA track and field championships in Austin, Texas.
His time of 48.48 edged Texas Tech’s Nelson Grimes by 0.23 seconds. Hall’s time was a personal best and the second-fastest mark ever for the South Carolina program.
Hall hardly led at any point Friday and trailed Grimes coming out of the final hurdle. But he turned on the jets late and raced past the Red Raider for the title.
The Kansas City-area product came to South Carolina from College of the Sequoias, a junior college in California. He also played football and wrestled in high school, but it was on the track where he excelled, winning multiple Missouri prep titles.
“Before the race, I was really nervous, because I knew there were a lot of 49-flat guys in the heat,” Hall told GamecocksOnline.com. “I knew it was going to take 48-mid to win it.”
Suffice to say Hall has Olympic aspirations for Tokyo in 2020. But first come the 2019 world championships, set for late September/early October in Doha, Qatar.
“(Being an NCAA champion) means a lot. It means the world to me,” he said. “But now I’m a national champion, and hopefully, I want to be a world champion.”
Later Friday night, Hall joined teammates Arinze Chance, Ty Jaye Robbins and Otis Jones, running the third leg in the 4x400m relay. The Gamecocks finished eighth at 3:03.97 to earn first-team All-America honors.
Hall is now a four-time first-team All-American, a three-time Carolina record-setter and a two-time SEC champion. He’s also one of 10 men’s finalists for The Bowerman, awarded each year to the top athlete in college track & field.
“Quincy fought hard for his teammates,” South Carolina coach Curtis Frye said. “Those are his guys. Quincy laid it on the line. He only had 50 minutes (after winning the 400m hurdles) to come back and run the mile relay, which was tough.”
On Thursday, Park Hill High product Chris Nilsen defended his NCAA pole vault title in Austin.
Ben Breiner of The State in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this story.