Anna Holdiman: Quite a Senior Year Already!

Anna Holdiman-Waverly Shell Rock

Anna Holdiman-Waverly Shell Rock

Five Good Minutes with Anna Holdiman

You had a great Cross Country season. You won the 3A title, went on to finish 7th at Foot Locker and made the US Jr. Team, competing in Scotland and placing 15th. Have you been able to wrap your head around all that happened and all of the accolades that have come your way?

It has been a season of blessing, hard work, and this season all of my training really came together. It has been a bit mind boggling to think of how much progress I made in such a short time! I was shocked having a 51 second PR at the Foot Locker Regional. My coaches had been telling me I was due for a big improvement, but I didn’t understand that I had the ability qualify for such a high caliber event. However, when we toed the line at nationals, I knew that I deserved to be at nationals as much as anyone else did. With that mindset I was able to leave it all on the course, which is the most rewarding feeling. Being around such amazing runners both here in the United States and now internationally, has really opened my eyes to the sport. I give all the glory to God because he has given me the gift of running, now it is my duty to bring others to God through my running. 

You were selected Gatorade’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Can you explain how you feel about being selected the top high school female runner in Iowa? 

It is a tremendous honor, to be considered a part of such an elite group of runners from Iowa. Many of the “greats” of Iowa were the girls that I looked up to as freshman, now seeing what they have achieved after high school really excites me for my future.

Tell us how you have fit all of the elite meets and traveling into your already busy schedule at Waverly Shell Rock?

Well, it has been a bit stressful at times, but I have managed to travel, while going to school, running and working several part time jobs.I think this year I finally realized that focusing on running, and putting as much time and energy into the sport is much better than focusing on a lot of different activities. I have a very supportive group of teachers that have made getting class work done with all the traveling possible! Most of all, I could not ask for more supportive parents! Running is something that I have pushed myself in, which is the biggest gift they could have given me. They never have pushed me, or tried to “live through me” or have taken the love of the sport away from me. I really appreciate all they do for me!

Have you become somewhat of a “celebrity” at school or around town?

I would not go that far. I have not been featured in People’s Style Watch Section, of what NOT to wear (since I wear running gear to school everyday) so I think I haven’t hit celebrity status, just kidding. I have had such great support from my team, teachers, and the community, I couldn’t ask for more!

You are taking your talents to Iowa State. They have a very competitive team with talented coaches. Can you tell us about the recruiting process and how you made the decision to attend ISU?

I am thrilled to be a Cyclone! It is official since I have signed and I am ecstatic to be

Anna Holdiman-Waverly Shell Rock

Anna Holdiman-Waverly Shell Rock

part of such a talented group of women. I visited six schools very seriously, and found that Iowa State was the best “fit” for me! The girls are such a hardworking, focused, and fun group, it made it hard to consider some other schools that I was looking at! I also really love the coaching staff and feel like they will develop me into the best runner that I can be, which is everything that I could ask for in a program!

Can you go into more detail about your trip to Scotland? On the average, not many people have the opportunity to represent their country in athletics. You have been able to do it while still in high school.What was the feeling like going to a foreign country and competing with red white and blue USA across your chest?

My trip to Scotland was hands down the best trip of my life. I did not race like I had wanted to but considering the conditions, taking a two week break after nationals,and my lack of experience at international level it was a great way to get “hungry” for international racing. The USA junior team was made up of four college freshmen, and two of us high schoolers so it was a little intimidating. It was especially nerve racking since some of the girls on the junior foreign teams were

Anna Holdiman with Team USA 2013

Anna Holdiman with Team USA 2013

professional runners! One night we were at dinner, socializing, and I struck up a conversation with a senior Kenyan athlete. Unbeknownst to me it was Vivian Cheruiyot (Olympic Champion in 5k in Beijing, Olympic Silver medalist 5k London, and Olympic Bronze in 10k in London) . I was eating dinner with a Olympian, let alone a gold medalist, it made this trip even more surreal. It was such a great experience to learn from professionals, people from other countries, and a lot from the other ladies on team USA. Most of all, I learned a lot about myself, and where hard work can take you. I have built great relationships with other members of our USA squad, along with runners from other countries. We all keep posted on each other on facebook and twitter! I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to represent my country, it truly brings so much meaning to running, to represent something far greater than yourself.

Are you running in any indoor meets? Or are you resting and preparing for spring track?

My coaches and I are kicking around the idea in competing in a few meets, but I am focussing on my outdoor season. I am starting my track season at the Iowa State Indoor meet, but am only running one race!

Would you share some goals that you may have for yourself as you prepare for the upcoming track season?

My goals are to stay focused, healthy and see how fast I can run this spring!My other big goals are to qualify for the Jim Ryun Dream Mile, and compete in USA’s in June !

Thank you for a wonderful Cross Country season! You have put Waverly and the state of Iowa on the map! Best of luck at ISU!

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