Anna Holdiman: Footlocker All-American

Anna Holdiman

Anna Holdiman-Waverly Shell Rock
© Steve Pope

Anna Holdiman of Waverily Shell Rock made Iowa proud by finishing seventh at the prestigious Footlocker Nationals held in December at Balboa Park in San Diego.  40 of the countries best high school cross country runners qualify to run in the countries most competitive race of the year.  Just to be at the start line with the nation’s best is one gig, but to finish 7th is something different.  Anna, is one of the few Iowans who have qualified for Footlocker and places her in a position where she can begin to choose from the best running colleges in the country.  Those colleges certainly know who Anna Holdiman is now and any of them would love to have her on their team.  Below is an article written by Rick Coleman, sports editor at KWWL.   


Written by Rick Coleman, Sports Director – bio | email


Loneliness. IT’s something great distance runners learn to deal with. That’s especially true for Waverly-Shell Rock’s Anna Holdiman.

Waverly-Shell Rock Head Cross Country Coach Kevin Kueker said, “She’s just mentally tough as far as going out and training on her own. She’s kind of used to running on her own.”

Anna got quite a bit of alone time during Saturday’s state cross country meet. Shortly after the start, she was in the lead. It was a lead she kept building on until the end when she finished a full 39 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.

Holdiman said, “It was just really a fun experience. I had all my teammates there. They were cheering and had signs and stuff, so that was cool.”

Anna’s high school career has been filled with success ever since she won her first state title as a freshman in the 3-thousand meters. During her sophomore track season however, a stress injury derailed Anna’s progress as she’d finish out of the top 15 in both the 3-thousand and 15-hundred, while finishing third at state cross country one year after winning the title.

Holdiman said, “I still believe that I learned more from losing and getting injured than I did from winning.”

Kueker said, “You can’t really coach desire and that’s something that she has.”

Through hard work, Anna Holdiman rebounded and recovered to win 2 titles at the state track meet this past spring, while of course picking up the second state cross country title of her career. She credits a lot of that success to those around her as well as something much bigger.

And Holdiman said, “With my running, all the glory goes to God for everything, and it’s all about doing the best I can with the gifts that God gave me.”


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