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Versatile Effingham County star makes weighty college decision
Effingham County’s Cat Hall expresses gratitude to those attending her March 20 signing ceremony. She is headed to Georgia Southwestern University. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
Effingham County’s Cat Hall (5) said soccer is her favorite sport. She is also an All-Region 2-AAAAAA performer in basketball. She was offered an opportunity to play college soccer but was unable to gain the required 20 pounds. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

 SPRINGFIELD —  Effingham County’s Cat Hall is a multi-sport heavyweight who didn’t take her college options lightly.

After considerable consternation, she has decided to attend Georgia Southwestern University and join its cross country team this fall. She made it official with a March 20 signing ceremony in her school’s gym lobby.

“This is actually really hard ...” Hall said after putting her pen to paper. 

Hall chose to continue in cross country after also representing the Lady Rebels in basketball and soccer, sports she enjoys more than cross country.

 Hall recently received All-Region 2-AAAAAA recognition on the hardwood.

“It’s hard to say goodbye to basketball and soccer,” she said. “That’s the part that is like hurting the most but I know this is the best choice for me and there will be less wear and tear on my body — to be honest.”

Hall said she is unlikely to try to play multiple sports in college.

“I don’t think so,” she said. “I think (I am) committed to this because (coaches) don’t want a silly sprain from messing around playing basketball. There might be some pick-up games during the summer and I will go to the Y sometimes and play around there.”

Hall ranks soccer as her favorite sport. Basketball and cross country rank second and third, respectively.

“I like them team aspect of sports a lot,” she said. “That’s what I’ve been thinking about a lot.”

Hall said one college coach said he would sign her if she would add 20 pounds.  

“The catch was that I couldn’t gain twenty pounds,” she said. “I went to the gym over the summer for darn near a month straight, ate everything I was supposed to and drank tons of protein and water, and did everything I was supposed to do and didn’t gain a pound.”

The struggle to add bulk gave Hall time to reconsider her goals.

She explained, “That’s when I got to thinking, ‘If I put all this weight on, what is going to happen to my cross country times? What is going to happen to my speed in basketball and soccer?’ It was going to go and I was just going to be another slug, or at least that’s what I thought.

“That’s when I decided to take off with what I have right now and just work on that.”

Hall’s choice proved fruitful. She bested her own school record cross country time of 19:42, breaking it in a Richmond Hill meet.