HALL OF FAME: Hall family hurdles way into Hornet Hall of Fame

Friday night’s induction into the Enumclaw High athletic Hall of Fame will be special for Rich Hall as his daughter Tori and son Alan are inducted along side of him.

Rich said he’s happy to be lumped in with his offspring who he calls gifted and embarrassingly competitive.

“I think both my kids deserve it,” Hall said. “I don’t know what I’ve done, maybe just being a parent to them. I had a blast watching them. It was so much fun.”

The elder Hall, a 1970 graduate, was a three-year letter winner at Enumclaw in track, where he set multiple school records. He helped EHS win its first league championship in 20 years in 1969. In 1970, he was named the Outstanding Athlete at the Mt. Si Invitational. A highlight was when he was one of eight Washington state track athletes invited to the Coliseum Invitational.

He learned his hurdling skills from coach Wes Hanson and passed them down to Tori and Alan.

Hanson taught him how to perfect his approach and how to size up the competition.

Hall was also a two-year football letter winner, playing halfback, defensive back, punter and returning both kickoffs and punts. At the time, he set a kickoff return record of 92 yards.

Alan, a 1996 graduate, followed in his dad’s footsteps in that respect when he ran back a 90-yard, game-winning kickoff in the closing 10 seconds of a mini-playoff with White River in 1993 that thrust the Hornets into the football playoffs. He was an all-league pick at defensive back and for all-purpose yards.

Football was the tip of the iceberg for the younger Hall. He was a four-year letter winner in track, where he earned many team, league and district honors and also set records and was team MVP four-straight seasons. He also qualified for the state track meet all four years, placing sixth in the long jump and second in the 300-meter hurdles. He also lettered in tennis.

Alan downplays his success, but attributes it to his family. He said he learned his work ethic and competitiveness from his sister and father.

He said his sister is the star.

“In my opinion, she’s one of the best female athletes to come out of the school,” he said. “She’s incredible. She has four state titles. She went on to be MVP at college. My dad and I, there’s no comparison.”

Indeed, the female Hall, now married with the last name Ammons, earned four state titles. Her junior year, 1991, she cruised to the 100 hurdle title with a time of 14.95 seconds and did it again in the 300 hurdles in 44.72. A year later, she won the them again in 15.04 and 45.64.

“It was my thing,” Ammons said of her track career, where she was a four-year Hornet letter winner. Plus, she said, genetics and the family support she received helped, especially Rich Hall working with her after practice and on weekends. Rich said Tori was fast and competitive, but did not have the natural hurdling talent of Alan; she had to work for it. That work, they say, paid off.

That 1991 season stands out.

“I wasn’t predicted to be a state champion,” Ammons said, remembering the league meet. “But the team could be a state champion. That was the first time everything came together.”

The Hornets finished runner-up at state to Lakeside, by two points.

After high school, she competed for Washington State University where she earned MVP honors, scoring the most points in 1995 and placing in the Pac-10 championships in the 100 hurdles and 400- and 1,600-meter relay.

All three Halls went on to coach.

Ammons is currently coaching at Auburn Mountainview High and Green River Community College. In 2010, she coached the GRCC women’s cross country team to a second-place finish at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Northern Regional Meet and was named Coach of the Year. She’s currently starting a track program at GRCC.

After graduation, Rich played football at Columbia Basin Community College in Pasco. He’s coached other state hurdlers and is now coaching his grandchildren.

Alan has been coaching soccer for the past eight years and coached sprinters and hurdlers for White River High for the past two years.

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