CHARLESTON, Ill. – Bryce Holesinger surprised himself with a second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles race at the Illinois Class 1A boys track and field state meet. His expectations likely will be higher next spring.
“Well, I’m ready for next year,” he said Saturday after the runner-up finish at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium. “I honestly didn’t think I would make the finals (because of a hip injury). (Before the season) I expected to make it back to state and make finals. I had no idea that I was going to get second, so that exceeded my expectations. I also ran a 39-second race, and that’s the other goal that I wanted.”
Overcoming the injury, Holesinger, a junior for Fulton/Fulton Unity Christian, ran the race in 39.95 seconds, just .10 behind senior Jason Bliven of Trenton Wesclin.
“Right before state I pulled my hip flexor and strained by TFL, so I was just trying to catch back up,” he said.
Fortunately for Holesinger, the injury wasn’t as disruptive to him in the 300 hurdles as it was in the 110 high hurdles, in which he failed to qualify for the finals.
“In the 300s, because the hurdles are lower, I could cycle it through just as fast as I normally do. But in the 110s, I couldn’t get it high enough to cycle through.”
When Holesinger saw what he could do in Thursday’s preliminaries – he ran the fourth-fastest time – that changed his outlook.
“When I made it to finals, that was great,” he said. “When I knew I had a shot, starting out in fourth, it felt phenomenal. Words can’t describe how I felt.
“Getting to the finals and ranking fourth, I had the mindset that I could go out there and win it. All of us were so close, so I decided to go for it.”