Spotlight: Holland runs his way to the top |

Spotlight: Holland runs his way to the top

When Ben Holland laced up his running shoes for the 2003 cross country season this year, he set a goal for himself – to run under 19 minutes in a 5-kilometer run. He achieved that goal at the Liberty Bell Invitational on Sept. 12, where he set a personal best 18:55.

Now he’s aiming for 18:50, and he might have the chance to do that at the Dakota Ridge Invitational, which features a course that is reputedly one of the fastest on the Front Range, with few hills to slow a runner down.

In only his second year running cross country, the 16-year-old sophomore at Summit High School has established himself as one of the better runners on the team.

Holland has lived in Breckenridge all of his life with his mother and father, Dana and Joe, and his 12-year-old sister, Brady. Asked if he gets along with his little sister, he replied: “Yeah, sometimes. It depends on the day.”

He enjoys living in Breck and uses his free time to ride his mountain bike and go hunting with his father.

Holland also enjoys traveling, including annual trips with his family around the country.

He even took advantage of an opportunity to go to Belize with his church youth group this summer, where he helped a local parish build a seminary.

“We were able to go to the beach one day and do some snorkeling,” he said.

As for the future, Holland is content to work his way through high school and worry about college a little bit later.

For now, he’s simply trying to figure out whether he wants to join the swimming team or the track and field team this spring.

– Richard Chittick

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