By David Fong
TROY —Alaura Holycross will never forget the first time she picked up a shot put.
That’s mostly because the Troy High School senior wanted to put it right back down again and walk away forever.
“My freshman year, I wanted to quit track,” Holycross said. “I was so set on playing basketball. But then I just kept going in track and made it to regionals and then to state my junior year. I guess I knew then what I was meant to do.”
Holycross would end up becoming a standout in both sports for the Trojans — qualifying for state in the shot put and earning All-Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division honors in basketball last year — but quickly figured out which sport held the key to her future. While she eventually stopped growing taller, she never stopped growing stronger, becoming one of the top shot putters in the state and school history.
So good has Holycross become in the shot put that she recently signed her national letter of intent to attend school and compete for the track and field team at Tiffin University. Holycross held a dual signing ceremony at both Troy High School and the Upper Valley Career Center.
“I’m really happy I stuck with it,” Holycross said of her decision not to quit throwing the shot put. “I’m really looking forward to my senior year and then throwing in college. I love playing basketball, but now that the season is over, I am really going to focus on my throwing.”
Holycross had a breakout season last year for the Trojan track and field family. In addition to earning All-GWOC American North second-team honors (behind teammate Lenea Browder), Holycross came on strong in the postseason, taking second at regionals with a throw of 40-6.25, good enough to earn her a trip to state. It also was the third-best throw in school history, just behind Browder and former teammate Kelsey Walters, now a thrower at Ball State University.
At state, Holycross threw 39-6 for ninth place, one spot away from making it to the podium.
“She is improving so much each and every year in the shot put,” Troy girls track and field coach Kurt Snyder said of Holycross. “She’s been around some pretty good throwers the past few years with Kelsey and Lenea, but she sees that as a challenge. She wants to be one of the best throwers in school history and she puts in the extra work to do that. She’s such a hard-working kid. I have no doubts she’ll continue to do that in college and will only get better.”
Before she moves on to college, however, she’s looking forward to a final season at Troy.
“It’s bittersweet,” Holycross said on signing day. “It all happened so fast. I’m excited about going to college, but I’ll miss it here at Troy.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong
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