As the Yale track and field spring season approaches its end, Sydney Holmes ’20 has secured her spot among the Ivy League’s most competitive athletes.
Holmes, a Georgia native, arrived at Yale after standout performances on her high school’s team. She graduated from Chamblee Charter High School with records in the 100-meter hurdles, triple jump, pole vault and 4×100-meter relay. Holmes’ penchant for printing her name in record books seems to have followed her from Georgia: A proud owner of the Bulldogs’ all-time 60-meter hurdles record of 8.71 seconds and the second-fastest performance in the 100-meter hurdles event with a time of 14.48 seconds, Holmes’ sprints are energizing Yale’s track and field team.
“I wasn’t surprised when I heard she broke the [60-meter] hurdling record. After getting to know Sydney you realize that no benchmark stands a chance when she steps onto the field,” said Jocelyn Dorney ’20, a close friend of Holmes since they arrived on campus. “She’s dedicated herself to track ever since she was a little girl, when you [see her compete] you are blown away by her spectacular gifts.”
Dorney was not the only one unsurprised by Holmes’ success. Strong performances like her collegiate debut at Yale’s Coxe Cage instantly put her on the radar of teammates and coaches alike. In her first time sporting Yale Blue, she clocked a qualifying time of 8.97 seconds and a final time of 8.81 seconds, coming only a few hundredths of a second slower than Mackenzie Mathews’ ’16 record time.
Her final time of 8.82 seconds at Boston University’s Valentine Indoor Invitational later in the season further assured the team that it was only time before she broke Mathews’ record. When ECACs arrived and Holmes clocked a time of 8.71 seconds, teammates and coaches rejoiced.
“Syd is such a strong and determined competitor,” high jumper Olivia Mooney ’20 said. “She had some great performances earlier in the season, so we had a feeling the record was in her future.”
Mooney praised Holmes’ form, strength and highly developed speed, highlighting how Holmes’ particular set of attributes helped her put on a performance that rarely is exhibited by a freshman runner.
This spring season Holmes seems to be riding high from her indoor standout performance. In her first collegiate 100-meter hurdle, she ran the second-fastest time in program history. And in similar fashion to her winter season, Holmes, her teammates and her coaches expect to see her dethrone another record in what promises to be a college career that will have Holmes running against no one but herself.
“It is always fun to get outdoors and I know she’ll finish this year on a high note with hopefully another record in the books,” multievent track and field athlete Natasha Feshbach ’20 said. “She’ll be in the 4×100 relay and might run some open 100-meter races. Her speed is going to be a key to building the women’s team over the next four years.”
The annual Yale/Harvard vs. Oxford/Cambridge meet will take place at Yale on April 8.