Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Dent: Bound for West Point, South Grand Prairie's Abraham Hall has 'all the time in the world to run 9.7'
Editor's note: This column originally ran on April 27, 2012.
GRAND PRAIRIE — He looks fast right now, bounding across the field to the track, smiling and pumping his arms as he listens to music by 30 Seconds to Mars. Abraham Hall just passed a required blood pressure test for West Point. This is a good day.
“He just bounces,” South Grand Prairie coach Ken Graber said. “He bounces everywhere.”
Exactly how fast he runs, or bounces, is the question many asked April 12. At the District 5-5A meet, Hall ran a 9.74 100-meter dash, the national high school record, the fourth-fastest time in history. Only, he really didn’t. The fully automatic timers didn’t register. A tailwind was probably blowing. His time was probably closer to a 10.1, or even a 10.3.
No one could debate the finish. Graber has a nice picture of it: A pack of runners lingers together. Hall is ahead by several meters, alone.
Everything was perfect April 12, the weather, Hall’s legs, even the track. Duncanville has as nice of a track as anyone. Hall sensed this good fortune and remembers warming up better than he ever has.
Then came the race. Hall’s biggest problem is his start. This time, he nailed it. Two seconds into the race, he had a significant lead. He drove through the middle with his quick turnover and when he crossed the finish line, Hall was certain it was the fastest he’d ever run. But the times weren’t available yet. Finally, a meet volunteer told him: 9.74. Fully automatic timing. She showed him on a piece of paper.
In the coming hours, that time changed drastically. It was a hand-held time because the gun didn’t set off the timers.
“I kind of dismissed it after the day,” Hall said. “The more important thing to me was regional, the 4x1. I have all the time in the world to run 9.7.”
A relative late bloomer who only dabbled in track until high school, Hall has dedicated himself to the sport since his freshman year. The work ethic stems from his upbringing. His mother, Greta Graham, raised him and his twin sister, Abrianna, on her own. Finances haven’t always been easy, but she instilled the value of education. They never played video games and couldn’t do homework with the TV on.
In high school, Hall has earned nearly all A’s. Moving that same focus to track, he has turned into one of the best in the state and nation. With his combined excellence in school and track, he’s earned a scholarship to West Point.
“Not only will you get academics and sports but leadership,” he said. “That’s a chance to be a better man. That’s why I chose West Point.”