Deiondre Hall has a smile that lights up a room.

Deiondre Hall has a smile that lights up a room.

And Blue Springs High School boys track and field coach Joe Cusack is hoping to see it four times this weekend at the Class 4 Missouri State Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University.

“I think I can make this statement without putting any extra pressure on ‘D,’” Cusack said Thursday morning before the Wildcats packed their gear for the trip to Jefferson City. “But he has the chance, and it is a very good chance, of bringing home four gold medals. If he doesn’t, he hasn’t let anyone down because I know how hard he has worked to prepare for this state meet.

“What I’m saying is that the opportunity is there, and I believe the young man will make the most of that opportunity.”

Many Wildcat fans think of Hall as an all-state defensive back who is going to play at the University of Northern Iowa. He was also a standout on coach Frank Wheeler’s surprising boys basketball team.

But now, he stands center stage in a sport he has mastered as he enters the state competition after winning the long jump and triple jump at the district and sectional meets.

He was one of the favorites to win the high jump at sectional, but he flew over the bar and missed the mat on one attempt and shut it down after landing hard on his head and shoulder.

He finished second in that event and is also expected to be the anchor in the Wildcats’ favored 1,600-meter relay team, joining DaShaughn Terry, Erron Holley and Chris Clark/Jason Terry.

“I went to state as a sophomore and our relay team made it to the finals, but we didn’t finish in the top eight, so we didn’t get a medal,” Hall said. “Then I didn’t finish in the top four in my events last year, so I’m looking to go to state and go out with a bang.”

When asked if he thinks he could win four gold medals, he smiled and said, “That’s the plan.”
And that’s the type of confidence his coach wants to see.

“He should be confident,” Cusack said. “He’s gotten so much better this year. He got a taste of state as a sophomore, and all that can do is help him. He won’t be overwhelmed by everything that takes place at state.

“He didn’t make it last year, and that will make him even hungrier this year. I can’t wait to see what he does.”

Hall looks like a natural in all three sports, and he says that’s something he has no control over.
“That’s from God, that’s where all my ability comes from,” Hall said. “I’m truly blessed – I have a lot of talent, great teammates and coaches who have helped me improve every year.”

He said his mishap in the long jump at sectional will have no affect on him this weekend.

“None at all,” he said matter of factly. “I wanted to go back out and jump after I hit my head, but they knew I was in  second place and that I was going to state so they played it safe.

“Now, I’m going to listen to my coaches and I’m going to be patient and stay cool. If I can do that, good things can happen.”