Mitchell Christian's Silas Holdeman looking to stay humble in his return to the track

Apr. 19—MITCHELL — Last October, Mitchell Christian's Silas Holdeman surprised the rest of the Class B field at the cross country state championship to claim the individual title.

Since the championship, the freshman phenom has completed a full basketball season, and is back on the distance running scene competing in track and field. And he's adamant to not let himself get puffed up after such an incredible accomplishment six months ago.

"I may have won first place, but I'm going to always continue to give God the glory in whatever I do, and I just want to be honorable, and not prideful in myself. I want to be humble," Holdeman said.

While Holdeman was a member of the Golden Eagles' varsity basketball team this winter, some of his running competition may have spent the winter running extra mileage and building endurance. But Holdeman still feels confident in his preparations to compete this season.

Despite not undergoing a full winter of training, he got plenty of anaerobic exercise on the hardwood to keep himself in shape. And once the hoops season ended, he began running again, either outside in the cold with teammates, or more often on a treadmill inside his home.

And from the get-go this spring, Holdeman has performed well. He opened his season with a personal best of 4:46.15 in the 1,600 run at the indoor DWU High School meet on March 28, then turned around and smashed his record with a 4:36.39 in his first outdoor 1,600 race at the Corn Palace Relays on April 13. In that race, he showed a burst of energy in the final 400 meters of the race — which he credits to the basketball training— to push past a large group to finish in second.

"I felt really good going into this first (outdoor) meet," Holdeman said. "The first few laps I just kept going. I wanted to kick it in the last 400 ... We ran a lot actually during basketball and that was a big part of it, probably because of all the ups and downs."

In these early weeks of the outdoor season, Holdeman said he'll focus on the 800-meter run and 1,600-meter run, and build up to competing in the 3,200-meter run later in the season. In terms of goals for the young returning cross country champ, he hopes to maintain his humble demeanor and be a team player.

"We got some really fast guys, Luke (Mentele), Sawyer (Holdeman), Joseph (Tegethoff). We're all going to be really fast," Holdeman said. "I hope we place in the top-five in our team events, and then as individuals place really well too."

Mitchell Christian's next track meet is Tuesday, April 23 at the Danielsen Relays in Salem.