Holland breaks own HHC pole vault mark
SEYMOUR - Madison’s Maddie Holland broke her own meet record in the pole vault and added a win in the 100-meter hurdles in the process to lead the Lady Cubs at the Hoosier Hills Conference Girls Track & Field Championships at Seymour on Tuesday. Holland, who has already signed to attend the University of Nebraska in the fall, won her two signature events for the second-straight year - both in dominating fashion. Her winning time of 16.09 in the hurdles was nearly a full second ahead of runner-up Corinne Cox of Floyd Central while her height of 12 feet, 7.5 inches in the pole vault broke her own HHC mark set a year ago. “Maddie certainly has made her imprint on our conference with dominant wins in her events,” Madison coach Josh Wilber said. “I am looking forward to her state tournament run.” It’s a testament to the kind of season - and career - Holland has had that her performance on Tuesday was seen as a bit disappointing. She cleared the pole vault bar by nearly three feet higher than runner-up Claire Lowney of Floyd Central, but it was a foot shorter than her season-high, an amazing 13-feet-8 set last week. “I felt like I did OK but I can definitely do better,” Holland said. Holland had actually tweaked her back during the 100 hurdle preliminaries, long before she attempted a jump in the pole vault, and spent much of her down time between the event resting her back. But while she admitted that the back hurt, she also felt like it had little effect on the outcome. “It hurt a little bit so maybe that might have been something but I think it was more that I didn’t plant high enough and didn’t push the pole in,” she said. The last to go, Holland’s first jump officially won the conference crown at just over 10 feet. From there, it was a question of how high the senior would try to go, especially considering her back. As it turned out, Holland didn’t get much of a chance to assault the state record, scratching on all three of her attempts at 12 feet, 9 inches. Holland nearly re-wrote the record books last week when she cleared the bar at 13-8 in a dual meet at Jennings County. The mark was just 4 inches off the state record of 14-feet-even and stands as the third-best height by a high schooler in the nation so far this season. And it could have been even better. She just missed an attempt at 14 feet, 1 inch that would not only have set the state record, but given her the top vault in the country. “I was really surprised. I didn’t know the height until I went over and coach (Tim) Palmer was like, ‘that’s 13-8!’” Holland said. “If I had known the height, I would have probably been too scared.” Holland’s performances in her two events were the highlight of the meet for the young Lady Cubs. Leah Partin scored the only other top three-finish, placing third in the 300 hurdles in 50.27. Holland and Partin teamed up with Harper Watson and Abby Kelley to place fourth in the 1600 relay while Joy Hansen, Sydney Hammock, Partin and Sage Sproles were seventh in the 400 relay. Clare Wilber, Watson, Grace Marshall and Kelley placed seventh in the 3200 relay. “We had some really good performances on the night from many of our young athletes,” Coach Wilber said. “Harper Watson, Clare Wilber, Megan Eades and Emily Kiefer all had their best performances this year. This was the first conference meet for many of them and they responded well. These performances did not go down for points but they were critical going into sectionals.” Floyd Central won the team championship with 125 points with Jeffersonville second at 102. New Albany was third with 95 followed by Columbus East (89 points), Jennings County (69.5), Seymour (64.5), Bedford North Lawrence (41) and Madison (35). Madison’s next meet will be the IHSAA Sectionals at Jeffersonville on Tuesday.