TRACK AND FIELD: Berkely Hill in Port Townsend receives NCAA All-America status in the decathlon
PORT TOWNSEND – Berkley Hill excelled in four sports at Port Townsend High School, where as a football quarterback he won the Nisqually League MVP awards, the Olympic League 1A MVP awards in basketball, and overall league recognition behind the Received plate as a baseball catcher.
Hill has also been part of successful 4 Ã 100 and 4 Ã 400 relays that qualified for the Class 1A State Track and Field Championships and also ran the 200 sprint at the State Meeting, putting Port Townsend in third place.
It was that only season he spent as a senior on the Redhawks’ athletics team in 2017 that led his college sports career to All-America status.
Hill earned NCAA Division III All-America status after finishing seventh in the decathlon at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships recently in Greensboro, NC. took place
In this grueling event, the athletes have to complete 10 disciplines on two days of competition: 100-meter sprint, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meters, followed by 110 high hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and a 1,500-meter run.
Hill set personal record times of 48.92 seconds against 17 other qualifiers from across the nation to win the 400 run and 14.84 seconds in the 110 high hurdles. Hill also finished second in the 100, just off his personal best of 10.98 seconds, which took him seventh overall and All-America honors.
Hill was honored earlier this season by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in the decathlon, 100 meters, 110 hurdles, 400 meters and the 4 Ã 400 relay.
He also finished 17th in the decathlon at the NCAA DIII meeting in his second year in 2019.
George Fox University track coach John Smith marveled at Hill’s growth as an athlete and team leader over the past four seasons.
“I remember the day Berkley came to visit GFU,” said Smith. âHis high school track grades weren’t great, but he only had a year of track experience and had done a variety of events. When we met on the visit and I found out a little more about him, it was pretty clear that he was a good all-round athlete.
âBerkley had this look for him. I thought he was a good decathlete. The decathlon is one of the foundations of our program. I’m always looking for that special athlete who can take on this challenge. You can tell we were a bit surprised at how much progress Berkley has made, especially in the sprint and hurdle races. ”
Always a hard worker and team leader for his Port Townsend squads, Hill ran seamlessly.
“As a newcomer to the Decathalon training group, Berkley fit in perfectly and always had a smile on his face,” said Smith. âHe worked hard and contributed to the ‘Team Family’ atmosphere. In his junior and senior years, he led the underclassmen of the GFU track program.
âBekley has influenced many in his four years. My wife and I even took a trip to Port Townsend to see the place this great young man grew up in. He has helped me grow as a coach and will always be an athlete to fall back on as we help other athletes see what is possible as they work to improve. Aside from athletics, I would take 100 more Berkley Hills. Finally, I’m so glad we gave the ‘kid’ from Port Townsend a chance and he took a chance on the George Fox University Track Program. ”
Berkley’s NCAA championship Dekathalon ranking and the high hurdle time place him in seventh and third place at the GFU.
Hill also graduated cum laude with a BS in Computer Science: Cybersecurity from George Fox in May.
The son of Rich and Rachel Hill from Port Townsend, Hill’s new dream is to get a full-time job and start a successful career.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be reached at 360-406-0674 or [emailÂ protected] news.com.
Hill’s former Port Townsend coach Tom Webster contributed to this report.