Holmes remains special


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Sprinting by in a pair of florescent green track spikes, senior Ethan Holmes looks every bit like someone who was born to run track.

Tall and lanky with a hurdler’s build, he radiates intensity and passion along with an incredible amount of drive. For a long period of his life, that drive came from coaches and teammates. Now, it’s going to have to come from a different place.

Holmes redshirted his freshman indoor season to begin his Iowa career. But after discussions between Holmes and coaches, the redshirt was removed allowing him to run the 2010 outdoor season.

This decision left him with only his indoor eligibility in 2014. Anything he wanted to do during the outdoor season would have to come as an unattached athlete. Holmes is allowed to compete, but he isn’t technically on the team’s roster.

However, the team’s attitude or opinion toward  him hasn’t changed at all — in fact it has only gotten stronger after his eligibility ran out.

“The main reason for me coming back was to fill a leadership role and help show the way for some of the younger guys,” Holmes said. “I think they brought me back mainly to help the guys grow into that leadership role.”

Having been around the program for such a long time, his influence has been large for many on the track team, including senior Tevin-Cee Mincy. Both were named captains this season and Mincy feels that he has learned a lot simply from being around Holmes. 

“Ethan’s the type of guy who is going to go out there and give it his all whether he’s feeling down or he’s at his best,” Mincy said. “He’s always going to take something positive away from his race, and I always looked up at Ethan because of that.”

As Holmes progressed through his career, he also became more versatile with the events that he ran. Originally exclusively hurdler, he also competed in numerous relays during his time on the team, something that always gets coaches excited because of its relative obscurity.

Even more amazing is that he was able to compete at such a high level in all of the events he entered. This eventually led to an incredible ending to the 2013 outdoor season, when he received first- and second-team All-American honors as part of the 4x100-meter team and in the 400-meter hurdles.
“He’s one of those guys that’s hard to replace, but we also look to build around guys that are similar to him,” assistant coach Joey Woody said. “It was also special because he was an Iowa high-school guy that came to Iowa and made a name for himself.”

For the Clinton native, this is only the ending of one chapter of his track life. Currently looking for someone to sponsor him, Holmes wants to make track part of his life permanently. Coaching is what he has in mind for the future. In fact, he already coaches at Iowa City West, as well as a track club called Iowa Speed.

“I’m going to keep training for a couple more years whether something big like a contract happens or not,” Holmes said. “I want to coach track, I want to run track, and I want the rest of my life to be involved in the track and field world.

“I have a huge passion for the sport — it’s not just something I do, it’s a part of who I am.”

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