Player of the Week: Celeste Holder

Player of the Week: Celeste Holder

Celeste Holder, women's track & field
By: Anthony Gulizia, News Correspondent

Senior jumper and sprinter Celeste Holder of the women’s track & field team landed herself in the Northeastern record books Saturday at the Wildcat Invitational in Durham, N.H. Her jump of 19 feet, 3.5 inches was good enough for a first place finish in the long jump, as well as fifth place all-time at Northeastern. Holder finished off the day with two third place finishes, one in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.95 seconds, and the 300 meter dash with a time of 26.08 seconds. Her efforts have earned her Huntington News Player of the Week honors.

This was Holder’s first outdoor event of the season, and she said it was a great way to get started out on the right foot.

“It felt good to get the win, but it wasn’t my personal best,” Holder said. “But I started off good and I’m really happy about that.”

While many runners use the first meet of the season to work out the kinks, Holder used it as an opportunity to inscribe her name in Northeastern’s record books, and was enthusiastic about doing so.

“It’s always good to get on a record list,” Holder said. “It’s still early [in the season] and I’m really excited about it.”

Throughout the event, Holder competed in multiple events, completing her jumps in between running events. Head coach Sherman Hart said Holder’s performance was impressive.

“Celeste had a tremendous performance at UNH, she jumped well and I think her shortest jump of the day was 18 feet, 4 inches.” Hart said. “And what was interesting was while she was jumping, she was running back and forth doing two events at once.”

Holder said the running events in Durham will help her in other events throughout the season.

“It’s good to get some running events in, and I usually run the 400,” Holder said. “This was just a tune-up to get me ready for the rest of the season, and it was fun running the shorter races.”

For the first time in the program’s history, Hart is sending his squad to four different competitions across the country. This Saturday, Holder will be heading down to Fairfax, Va. for the Mason Spring Invitational, hosted by George Mason University.

“I’m excited to go further and go after my personal best,” Holder said about her performance at the Invitational. “It’s always nice to represent Northeastern, because as soon as you put that uniform on, your not just representing yourself, but your school, your family, and what you believe in.”

Hart said the invitational is an opportunity for Holder to get some great jumps in.

“George Mason has a great jumping pit, and this is an opportunity for her to move up in the Eastern list,” Hart said.

Setting records is nothing new to Holder, who holds the national indoor long jump title, and more than 40 combined indoor and outdoor records in high school.

The Parsippany, N.J. native has been running track since she was seven years old, and while being the third oldest of eight siblings, Holder said “she always has had that
competitive spirit.” Throughout her life, her father William B. Holder III has played a big role in her track career.

“My dad has been coaching me ever since I was younger, even until today, and he has been a huge influence in my career,” she said.

When she graduates in the spring, Holder will leave Northeastern with a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience, and plans to attend to pre-med school, before applying to medical school somewhere close to home.

“I’m excited to graduate, but the life of a college student and athlete is going to be missed,” Holder said. “But I’m ready to move onto the next step in my life.”

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