Hillary Holt, a junior from the College of Idaho, stunned spectators and competitors alike in the 1,500-meter run at the Oregon Twilight Meet at Hayward Field earlier this month.
Holt won in 4:11.62, beating three-time Great Britain champion Olympian Jemma Simpson and several professional runners. Her mark qualified her for the U.S. National Championships and would have qualified her for the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer.
The mark was the fastest 1,500-meter time ever run by a collegiate runner in the State of Idaho - breaking the record set by Niamh Beirne of Boise State in 1997. It also shattered her personal best, and was faster than the “A” qualifying standard for the event at the USA Track & Field Championships, which is 4:13.50.
Holt won by more than four seconds and crushed her College of Idaho school record by seven seconds.
A five-time NAIA Champion in indoor, outdoor and cross country, Holt was surprised by her incredible time. “I thought I would be lucky to run 4:13. I was shooting for the USA mark,” she told The Oregonian. “My coach just said, ‘When you go, go with everything you have and all your heart,’” Holt said. “That’s all I was thinking about, just ‘go, go, go.’”