PA Salute To Seniors: Ryun Holder - Chambersburg
What was your most memorable race/competition?
I think that my favorite race this year was the state finals in the 4x800. It was Nick Rotz, Adam Harriger, Aaron Powell, and myself. We ran 7:43.84 getting us at the time US#9 and second place by .026 seconds. It was also a school record and a really big moment in my season.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
The team we race the most is Cumberland Valley and I have to say this was our most competitive year yet. They always put out a great team and I don't think our relays (4x8) have ever finished more than 3 seconds apart. This year at states they had the upper hand but I always enjoy racing them and I think we always put on a good show.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
The accomplishment that stands out the most to me would be getting 2nd in the 4x800 at states. It was a great race, I split 1:51.11, and we crushed our school record. That race meant a lot to our whole team and I think we really made our coaches proud.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
If I could change one thing about my high school career, it would be the amount of effort I put into the sport. As an underclassmen, I wasn't really that into the sport and used to slack off a bit, but as I grew older and more mature I started to realize that all the tiring afternoons and weekends would pay off and began to work harder to reach my goals.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I think the hardest thing I had to overcome was knowing what injuries to take seriously and which ones to push through. All runners feel aches and pains but during the fall of my senior year I felt a tightness in my leg that I at first pushed through; but in the end turned out to be a strained IT band which took missing 3 weeks off my xc training and a great deal of PT to overcome.
What will you miss the most?
The thing I'll miss the most is my team. The track community makes up for a large part of my group of friends and I'm really going to miss spending the majority of time with them. Goofing off with them in the locker room and cracking jokes on all of our runs is a big part of what makes the sport enjoyable to me and it's going to be tough being on a team without them. Not to mention our annual trip to the Penn Relays ranks right up there with Christmas on my list of favorite holidays. They're always supportive and the funniest group of guys I'll ever have the privilege to know.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
I would just say try to have fun with it. Track, being so individualized, can be a difficult and stressful sport. Keep working at it and set reasonable goals to keep you focused along the way. Don't get down on yourself if you're not improving as much as you would like to. Keep training and putting in time and effort and you will see great results.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
I would be nowhere without my coaches. Every coach I've worked with has been great and essential in me becoming the runner and person I am today. From Coach Jones getting me some speed work in junior high to Coach Kuhns working with me right after deciding to run middle distance events, the coaches at Faust really started me off well and got me prepared and started on the right path before getting to high school. Then I got to CASHS and was privileged to be coached by Coach Walker, Monheim, and Ambrosio. Coach Walker would oversee everything as the head coach while Coach Monheim was in charge of getting me a big enough distance base to last the whole season. When Coach Ambro took over my training, he really broadened me as an individual while helping me experience success. Ambro always said,"I don't care how fast you are, I care how you are as a human being" (or something like that). He helped me realize that running may get you in the record books but it's better to be remembered as a great person rather than that annoying kid that can run. He was and still is a major influence on my life and I always look to him for guidance when I need help or motivation when I have a big race coming up. Every coach means a lot to me and will always be a big part of my life.
What are your college plans?
I am attending Georgetown University where I will be running track. I would eventually like to have a career in coaching track but for the time being I will be studying International Business.
Shout-Out to my family. My mom always trying to figure out what's going on and cheering for me even though she knows I can't hear her. My dad coming to watch my workouts and every single race purely out of love for the sport (but I'm sure he liked watching me compete too). Natalie for following with the rest of the family doing track and being a stud, breaking records every day.
Shout-Out to everyone on my team. Nick Rotz, you're a great runner and I wouldn't be nearly as good if I wasn't able to train with you over the last six years. Amos Ricks, don't worry, you'll be my only blasian friend and I'm glad I could bring you into the sport of track. Danny Klink (White Chocolate), you're ripped, stop lifting. Aaron "Indiana" Powell, I told you Chambersburg was better than Winamac. Grant Frey, you're a tank and the coolest mennonite I know. Adam Harriger, you completed the greatest 4x8 our school will ever see, keep on jogging.
Shout-Out to my coaches. You were great. I appreciate everything that you've done for me and I'll never forget what fantastic role models you have been for me.