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Moline's Holmes ready for first trip to state track meet
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PREP GIRLS TRACK | ILLINOIS STATE MEET

Moline's Holmes ready for first trip to state track meet

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One month can either be an incredibly long amount of time, or so short that it seemingly goes by in an instant.

For Moline track and field athlete Corynn Holmes, that's how long there was between her first career race in the 300 hurdles and qualifying for the Class 3A state meet this weekend in Charleston.

After running the event in the B flight at the Rock Island ABC meet on May 7, Holmes continued to work hard before finishing second at the Rock Island sectional with a time of 45.70 seconds to qualify for state. That time also happened to be a new school record, with the previous mark being held by Anne Leinart from 2002 with a time of 45.92.

It's all still a very new feeling for Holmes, but this new reality is sinking in with each passing day.

"I'm really excited about the whole thing," Holmes said. "Trusting my body is what got me to this point. I just knew that I was capable of getting those times and it was that belief that got me here."

Not only is Holmes running in the 300 hurdles, where she is seeded fourth in 3A, she also qualified in the high jump by reaching the state standard of 5-3 and qualified in the 100 hurdles for her third individual event in just her sophomore season.

After the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, Moline coach Joel Bohnsack and his staff have been trying to find where Holmes fits in best.

"We're always looking at how the kids can reach their full potential," Bohnsack said. "Corynn is so eager to try other things, and we've talked about putting her into some middle distance races, and we'll keep exploring where she can truly find her niche and just try different things."

Bohnsack finds similarities between Holmes and another former Moline track and field athlete, Olympic competitor Aisha Praught-Leer.

"Not to compare them directly, but Corynn is that type of person that always wants to be good and does what she has to do," Bohnsack said. "She's always excited to be out there competing and looks for the competition to succeed and get better while never settling and always wanting more."

Coming into this season, neither Bohnsack nor Holmes knew what to expect. With the shortened preparation time and no indoor season, it was a challenging start.

"Qualifying for state was definitely one of the things that we believed would be possible," Bohnsack said. "She's so energetic and talented and came into the season in great shape. I have to give credit to her for that and her family for helping her work out."

The path to the school record in the 300 hurdles was one that Holmes won't soon forget, even though it went by quickly.

"It was all happening really fast with how short the season was," Holmes said. "After I ran that first race at the 'ABC' meet, I fell in love with the event. Unlike with the 100 hurdles, there's time to think and breathe and spread out and stride. The record wasn't something that I was expecting to do, but it was the support and belief of my coaches that sent me there."

The plan at state, as it is for every athlete, is for Holmes to do the best that she can, while soaking in as much of the experience as she possibly can to get back down to Charleston in the future.

"I want to go down there and get a personal best in everything and see all the other athletes and have them push me to be better," Holmes said. "I want to give what my body has to offer, because it knows what it has to do but sometimes my mind gets in the way. I just want to spread good energy and meet new people and have a fun time."

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