Published On: Thu, Jul 27th, 2017

Hall continues her pedal pull dominance

HARTINGTON — Kennedy Hall’s key to success is simple– always stay focused. It’s always paid off for her.
Since she was six years old, Hall has been representing Cedar County, the state of Nebraska and even the United States in numerous pedal tractor pulls across the country. When she qualified for state competition three years ago, her parents said they never imagined they’d see their daughter do so well at the national and international levels.
Competitive pedal tractor pulling requires the rider to pull a bucket-like mechanism behind them. The bucket is filled with a certain amount of weight, and the device inclines the farther the rider pulls it.
Her mother, Amy Hall, said nationals require children to do pulls as far as 40 feet, a feat most competitors aren’t able to. She said they were surprised to see Kennedy completing the pulls, seemingly without any difficulty.
“We had no idea how good she was,” Amy Hall said. “It’s more her passion now.”
At nine years old, Kennedy Hall has won both state and national championships twice and the international championship once.
According to Jeff Hall, the first trophy she won was almost as tall she was, and reminded her she had a knack for pedal pulling.
“She’s persistent,” he said. “She’s gotten it into her head that she can do it, and she goes out and does it.”
It’s not hard to see the intensity Kennedy Hall brings to competition, even at her local county fair pedal pull. Staring straight ahead, she pedals the kiddie tractor as hard as she can, never stopping until an attendant runs over to stop her from crashing into the 4-H office building.
“It’s pretty easy, really,” Hall said. “Stay focused, keep your head forward and don’t look back.”
Hall said she practices for competitions by getting on her bike and riding up a tall hill near where she lives. She said this lets her build up her strength in her legs, as well as confidence in her abilities. She said competing against kids from other nations doesn’t really bother her, since she always has fun and does well.
“It’s not that strange,” she said. “You just have to stretch out and stay focused.”
She’s not the only one in her family who has found success in pedal pulling. Jeff Hall said all of her siblings have competed at the local level and his nephew, Anderson, has competed at the state level a few times.
“They’ve all competed, but none of them have gone as far as Kennedy has,” he said.
Whether its focus or sheer stubbornness, Amy Hall said she and her husband have enjoyed seeing their daughter find something she enjoys. She said Kennedy gets along with the other girls she competes against and she always sees her chatting with them when they’re not pulling.
“She likes this, she has fun,” Hall said.