Baylor's Simon Holden Commits To Run For Wake Forest

Red Raider Senior Picks Demon Deacons Over Furman And Others

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - by John Hunt

Simon Holden has had some tough races in his career at Baylor, but one of the most difficult ended a few days ago when the talented speedster decided to spend his college career at Winston Salem, N.C. where he will run cross country and track for Wake Forest.

Holden has been at Baylor for the past seven years where he has totally dominated his sports.

He won his first state title in cross country back in November after finishing second the year before.  He later earned All-America honors by finishing ninth at the FootLocker Regional Championship in Charlotte, which qualified him for the Natinal Championship race in San Diego.

His fourth-place finish at the prestigious Tennessee Classic was the only cross country race he didn't win.

While he has had exceptional success in cross country, he quickly admits that track is his favorite sport. 

Just last May at the Spring Fling in Murfreesboro, Holden proved his worth by winning the 3200, 800 and 1600 runs the same day.

Track practice began at Baylor this week and Holden is shooting for school records in the 800 and 1600, but making the decision about where he'll be spending the next four years was a higher priority this week.

"I'm super excited as it's a burden off my shoulders," the 18-year-old son of Horace and Alisa Holden expressed after class on Tuesday.

"I can put my total focus on track now, but I really liked the coach at Wake.  His name is Brad Hunt.  That was the deciding factor for me.

"I had several choices, but I wanted to go away.  I took visits to Furman and Wake Forest in the same trip, but I was also considering Georgia Tech, Williams and Bowdoin.  I'm not sure exactly what I want to study, but I don't have to declare a major until after my second year," Holden continued.

Baylor's school record in the 800 is 1:53 while the mark for the 1600 is a 4:09.  Both are held by former standout Oliver Townsend.  Holden's PR of 1:55 in the 800 was the same day when he won the other two longer races.

"I think I can run a sub-1:53 in the 800, but getting the record in the 1600 will be a whole lot harder," he said when admitting his current best at that distance is 4:17.

Jan Gautier has been the boys cross country coach for the past four years and she's been there to personally watch Holden as he's developed into a top-notch competitor.

"The coach at Wake asked me if he was for real and I told him that he's one of the finest young men I've ever known.  Everything about him is outstanding as he's a genuine great runner.

"I've watched him grow for the past four years and I haven't found anything negative about him, but Simon at this worst is better than most people at their best.  I knew he would be good when I first met him, but I just didn't know he'd be this good," Gautier praised.

"You have to give him the credit because he's worked hard to get to this level.  I coached him for the past four years and I can proudly say that I developed him as a runner.  He's been a great one to be associated with," the coach added.

Bill McMahan is the track coach at Baylor and he offered similar comments.

"I've never seen anyone with a better kick than Simon.  He really works at it and he's a real competitor.  I always want to make sure that I have quality people on my team and Simon is a great representative of Baylor School," McMahan said matter of factly.

The big decision has been made, so the suspense is over.  Now he can focus on his final track season for the Red Raiders and he knows it will be over before he knows it.

"My time at Baylor has been awesome, but it's flown by.  I can't believe it's almost over," he concluded.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Silverdale Falls To Loudon 6-2

The Loudon boys soccer team scored five second half goals to beat Silverdale 6-2 Friday night.   Silverdale's Jake Stophel and Connor Eischeid each had a goal.   For Loudon, Israel Zavala and  Fransisco Aguilera each had two goals.   Marco Mejia and Jesus Garcia had one goal each.   Matthew Dohmeier had an assist for Silverdale.   ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: McCallie Soccer Wins 3-1 Over Baylor

Judge Walter Williams May Go Back On The Bench As Administrative Hearing Officer

One of the city's most colorful judges may go back on the bench. The City Council on Tuesday is set to vote on the nomination of former City Court Judge Walter Williams as administrative hearing officer - a new city position. The law license of the former judge was transferred to disability inactive status in August of 2015 after he suffered a stroke early in the year.  ... (click for more)

Body Believed To Be That Of McCallie Student Jackson Standefer Recovered In Colorado River

A body believed to be that of a McCallie School student who was swept away in a creek in the Grand Canyon was recovered on Friday. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center said it was notified by a commercial river trip that they located a body on the Colorado River at River Mile 152. Park rangers responded and recovered the body, which was transported to the rim ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: County Commissioners Not Getting Bang For Their School Bucks

The Hamilton County School Board passed a balanced budget to present to the County Commission at a Special Called Meeting on Thursday night. They also attached a prioritized list of $24.5 million in critical needs for the County Commission to consider that will never see the light of day. The long and short of it is easy to see -- the County Commissioners have had enough. It ... (click for more)