ARTHUR -- The most successful runner in Arthur, Arthur-Lovington or Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond boys' history, Logan Hall made it official Monday as he signed a National Letter of Intent in front of family, friends and coaches, to run track and field and cross country at the University of Illinois. Hall is a senior at A-L-A-H.
"I knew this is was where I wanted to go," said Hall.
Hall had verbally committed in late September. Since then Hall said he has received many congratulations.
"All of the congratulations are super cool," said Hall. "The stress was way off after I verbally committed and I wanted to get that done before state. It feels real now that I have signed."
Hall has earned seven Illinois High School Association state medals in track and cross country combined, including a second place in the Class 1A state cross country meet where he ran a 14:30 on the three-mile course at Detweiller Park in Peoria.
A-L-A-H cross country coach Derik Eaton, a 1985 Sullivan grad who went on to run at Southwestern Michigan College said, "I feel truly blessed to have on the end of of his career at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond. As a former runner I am very pleased to watch him. A lot of coaches don't ever get to coach a young man like this. There have been a lot of good runners come through this area, but as i tell people in Arthur and surrounding towns 'You may never get to see this again. So get out and watch him.'"
Hall, who was third in the cross country meet as a junior (14:44) and 20th in 2015 (15:20) said, "It is exciting to have it over with and there is no stress at all and I know where I am going next year."
Hall said his first running idol was John Davis, who is a sophomore at Illinois and recently qualified for the NCAA championships in cross country.
"We can't express our gratitude for what he has done not only for himself, but for what he has done for the cross country and track and field programs," said A-L-A-H athletics director Jared Vanausdoll.
Hall, who was 11th as a seventh grader in the 1,600 at state (5;25.68), has earned a second and a state title in the 3,200 (9:37.76 in 2016 and 9:13.74 last year respectively), said, "Seeing all my family here was great. They are the ones that make it happen. without them I would not be here. I thank my coaches, parents, family and friends."
Hall was fifth in the 1,600 in 2016 (4:32.74) and third last season (4:19.48).
"I am going to take some time off now and get ready for track," said Hall. "I think it will be pretty cool going up to the armory (Illinois) race and having my future teammates cheer me on."
The Knights track coach, who is to be in his second year, Bryton Ragon, a 2010 Casey-Westfield grad said, "He is a tough competitor. He makes my job look easy and I am excited to see him go back to state and to seeing what he can do in the future years. He can only get better. I definitely feel very blessed to have an athlete like Logan. He is truly a once in a lifetime athlete."
Eaton loves that he is going to Illinois.
"The Illinois program is turning around and I think he wanted to be a part of that turnaround," said Eaton. "I thought he chose the right school. He could have gone many other places where he could have been a one, two or three man, but he wanted to go to Illinois where he knows he has to fight to be in the top 5-7 and that says a lot about him. That he is not afraid to compete with his teammates to run."
Eaton loves Halls' dedication to the sport.
"For a kid his age to be so dedicated to his craft of running is amazing," said Eaton. "He is an inspiration to the kids walking these halls at A-L-A-H that if you set your mind to something and you go after it, it can happen."
What stands out in his running is his strength said Eaton.
"For being such a small young man he is so strong and that confirms the miles he puts in," said Eaton, who finished fourth in the Class A (in the two-class system) cross country meet as a senior and was second in the 3,200. "In cross country and track there are different things that can be done and he can cover them all. He can wait until the last 400, cover surges and go out hard. The way he is trained anything that is thrown at him at a meet he can react to and a lot of runners can not do that."
Eaton is very happy for Hall, who was fourth as an eighth grader at state in the 1,600 (5:04.95).
"Behind every good student-athlete and every good person there is a good family," said Eaton. "They are very tight and I know he has been an inspiration to his younger brother, Layton."
Logan plans to study kinesiology, is the son of Kurt and Darlene Hall.