Kate Hall’s first year as a professional athlete has been a fruitful one, including a U.S. indoor long jump title in February.

Next week in Iowa, she’ll compete at the USA Track & Field Championships in hopes of landing a spot in the 2019 world championships.

“If I’m feeling good, I should have a good day,” said Hall, a native of Casco who trains in South Portland. “So I’m really excited for it.”

The USA Track & Field Championships will be held July 25-28 in Des Moines. The meet serves as the selection event for the 2019 IAAF World Championships, scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 6 in Doha, Qatar – the final World Championships before the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Hall, 22, is one of five athletes with Maine ties who will compete in Des Moines. North Yarmouth native Ben True, Sanford native Rachel Schneider and Bangor native Riley Masters will run in the 5,000 meters, and Lewiston native Isaiah Harris will compete in the 800 meters. Standish native Emily Durgin qualified at 10,000 meters but does not plan to run because of a knee injury.

Ben True has finished in the top three of each of the last three Beach to Beacon 10Ks, including a victory in 2016. But it’s unclear whether he’ll be back this year given his plans to compete in the 5,000 meters next week at the USA Track & Field Championships. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Placing among the top three at the U.S. championships puts you on Team USA for Worlds, providing you have achieved the qualifying standard at some point between Sept. 7, 2018, and the end of the Iowa meet. Hall, True, Schneider and Harris have achieved their necessary Worlds standard; Masters has not.

True and Harris are the only two of the bunch with previous World Championships experience. True finished sixth at 5,000 meters in Beijing in 2015, the same year Schneider, fresh out of Georgetown University, missed making the team by one-hundredth of a second at 1,500 meters. Harris placed 17th at 800 meters in London in 2017, ending his competition at the semifinal round.

Harris, 22, is coming back from a hip injury and ran most recently in a qualifying race in Princeton, New Jersey in late June. He finished second in 1:46.61. A month earlier, he won the 800 in the John Jay Distance Festival in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1:49.49.

Hall won the long jump at the adidas Boost Boston meet in June and recently returned from Europe. She matched her best Boston jump of 6.78 meters – which translates to 22 feet, 3 inches – to win a meet in France earlier this month and followed with a winning 6.52 jump in Italy a week later.

“At this point I’m just trying to get a couple good weeks of training in but also some recovery so that I feel refreshed,” Hall said. “I’ve been jumping 22 feet consistently for the first time ever, so it’s been a good season.”

As a college junior last spring, Hall helped the University of Georgia win a national title. She is continuing to pursue a degree in exercise science through online courses offered by Eastern Oregon University.

In three meets this spring in Florida, Hall competed in the 100-meter dash. She said in Iowa she will concentrate solely on long jump, where her mark of 6.78 is tied for fourth among the 17 women who qualified for the event. Olympic gold medalist Brittney Reese, at 6.95 meters, is the favorite.

Schneider, who turns 28 on Thursday, returned to her home in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Saturday night after winning a 1,500-meter race in Italy July 9 and placing ninth in a spectacular Diamond League mile field Saturday in Monaco that included a world record. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won the race in 4:12.33 to break a 23-year-old record.

Schneider ran 4:20.91 as one of nine women with personal bests, four of which turned out to be national records.

“That was such a great experience,” she said. “It gave me some confidence going into USAs that I’m in the best shape of my life. The speed is coming around at the right time.”

Schneider has run a variety of distances this year, from the 15-kilometer U.S. championships in Jacksonville in March (she placed sixth) to the Mini 10K in New York in June (fifth) to the shorter track races in Europe. She was second at 5,000 meters and fourth at 1,500 last summer in Des Moines but plans on running only one event this time.

“We’ve always been focused on the 5K for this year,” she said. “This being a Worlds year, we’re putting all our eggs in one basket.”

Schneider’s seed time of 15:06.71 ranks her fifth in a field of 17 women at nationals. Shelby Houlihan, the reigning U.S. cross country champion, is the favorite and only runner with a sub-15 time (14:34.45).

In the men’s 5,000 field, True is ranked second, roughly 4 seconds behind Paul Chelimo Sr.’s time of 13:05.70. Twenty men have achieved the national qualifying standard, including Masters (13:29.50) but only nine have run the World Championship standard of 13:22.50.

True, 33, has raced sparingly this year after overcoming a bad flu this winter. He ran the New York City Half Marathon in March (placing 10th), was runner-up in the BAA 5K in Boston in April and won the Payton Jordan Invitational 10,000 in May. In June he raced at 5,000 meters in Rome, Italy, (13:09.81) and at 3,000 in Oslo, Norway.

Since then, “he’s just been training and getting ready for next week,” said his coach, Ray Treacy of Providence College. “The major goal for the season is making the World Championship team in Doha.”

For that reason, Treacy said no decision has been made on whether True will return to Maine for the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, a race he won in 2016, placed second in 2017  and third in 2018. Last time he qualified for the Worlds, in 2015, True placed second at nationals in both 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He won’t double up this year.

“It’ll be hot and humid and there’s only three days in between,” Treacy said. “It’ll be difficult enough. You don’t want to jeopardize your best opportunity.”

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