Marielle Hall recorded an Olympic qualifier in the 10,000-meter run Saturday night in a loaded race in California.
Hall, a Mount Laurel native and Haddonfield graduate, ran 31:21.78, just over three seconds below the Olympic standard of 31:25, in a time trial held at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano.
It was her first track 10,000 in nearly two years.
Hall was out in 73.6 and 4:59 through 1,600 meters, 10:02 for 3,200 meters and 15:02 for 4,800 meters. She came through the 5K in 15:38.
She was still in the lead group with Elise Cranny, Karissa Schweizer, Eilish McColgan and Emily Infield through 8,000 meters, which the entire group came through between 24:57 and 24:58, or right at 75 seconds per lap.
At that point, with five laps to go, she knew she only had to average 77.4 per lap to nail her Tokyo qualifier, so there was no reason to keep hammering 74s and risk tying up. This wasn’t a race for place, it was a time trial, so she closed in 77.4, 77.3 and then 77.0, 76.4 and 75.4, finishing safely under the standard.
Hall was one of four American women who ran under the standard. Cranny won in 30:47.42 and Schweizer was second in 30:47.99. Infield (31:08.57) also ran sub-31:25. Scotland’s McColgan placed 3rd in 30:58.94.
The top five times in the race are the top five times in the world this year, according to the IAAF 2021 outdoor performance list.
Cranny and Schweizer moved into the No. 3 and No. 4 spots on the all-time U.S. list, behind American record holder Molly Huddle (30:13.17 when she was 6th at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro) and former U.S. record holder Shalane Flanagan (30:22.22 when she was second in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing).
By running below the Olympic standard, Hall guarantees herself a spot on the U.S. Olympic team if there is a summer Olympics in Tokyo with a top-three finish in the Olympic Trials. She can also make the team if either the 2nd- or 3rd-place finishers in the Trials don’t meet the qualifying standard. Then the U.S. field is filled by the next-fastest qualifiers.
Hall placed 3rd in the 2016 Trials in Eugene in 31:54.77 and 33rd in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August of 2016 with 32:39.32.
Hall ran her PR of 31:05.71 when she placed 8th at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September of 2018. That was her last track 10,000.
Hall, 29, has tremendous range, from 2:07.25 for 800 meters while running for Texas in 2011 to 4:10.77 for 1,500 meters last summer to 8:48.72 for 3,000 last summer and 15:02.27 for 5,000 in 2019. She’s run 48:52 on the roads for 15K.