Grant Holloway (Photo: Mary Ann Magnant)
Grant Holloway sets a new NCAA record then bolts for the pros
by Jim McGrath, recruit757
Former Grassfield High football star Grant Holloway made an athletic statement at a national level last weekend, but this one had nothing to do with the gridiron.
After graduating from Grassfield, Holloway, who was recruited to the University of Florida as both a football player and track athlete, decided to forgo football just before arriving in Gainesville. His aspiration was to pursue a dream of making the Olympics and becoming a professional track athlete.
And after one historic weekend, both of these dreams look to become a reality. At the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Austin, TX, Holloway led Florida to a second-place team finish. More importantly, he broke a collegiate record that had stood for 40 years, the 13.00 time in the 110-meter hurdles set by Renaldo Nehemiah of Maryland (and later San Francisco 49ers, as a wide receiver). Holloway, whose best time entering the race was 13.07, was pushed from the start by Daniel Roberts of Kentucky, and as the 6-2 Gator speedster cleared hurdle after hurdle, Roberts hung right off his shoulder. But Roberts couldn’t make the pass and Holloway crossed the line in 12.98, with Roberts also tying the record in 13.00.
Afterward, Holloway told FloTrack, “”Daniel usually makes his move around (hurdle) nine or ten, but once I got over 10 I knew I had it.”
His time ranks him 18th all-time with Aries Merritt’s world record of 12.80, set in 2012, in his sights.
Holloway also ran on the Florida 4×100 meter relay team which became the first in history to break the 38 second mark with its time of 37.97. In that race, the former Grizzly ran the third leg, in between Raymond Ekevwo, Hakim Sani Brown and Ryan Clark.
And in his final act as a collegiate athlete, Holloway anchored the Gator 4×400 relay with a 43.5 split, becoming the only runner in the championship race to break 44 seconds, as he led Florida to a second-place finish in 2:59.60.
After the meet, Holloway, who won eight NCAA championships, announced his intention to join the professional ranks of track and field.
– Jim McGrath