JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Brooklynn Holtman looked up at the giant videoboard at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City amazed. She had just won a state championship in the 400-meter dash — and did so with a new personal-best time of 59.15 to make it all the sweeter.
Then came the double-take. Holtman realized that the '9' in her head was actually a '7' on the big screen. The Spoofhound not only set a new personal record, but did so by over two seconds with a 57.15 in the Class 3 400-meter state finals.
“When I first looked up I thought it said '59.1' and I was like, 'Oh, that's a nice PR,'” Holtman said. “Then I was like, 'That is a seven, that is not a nine, that is a 57.1.' It is insane.
“I was running in the seventh lane so I was running scared because they were all behind me. So in that stretch to first, all I was thinking was that they could be right there.”
It was a familiar group of rivals who Holtman battled for the 400-meter title as she had faced Trenton senior Kristi Ewing and Pembroke Hill senior Hadley Jetmore each of the past two weeks in sectionals and districts.
In districts, Holtman came away as the champion with a then-best 59.35, but Jetmore and Ewing responded the following week in sectionals to edge out Holtman and knock her down to third. Holtman left no doubt on Saturday though, beating runner-up Ewing by over a second and a half while Jetmore was fourth.
“I suppose the word there is just phenomenal,” Maryville coach Rodney Bade said. “That 400 was just — she clearly was just like, I'm just going to go all in. I'm going to go all the way to the well, and what happens happens.”
Ewing was closer to finishing ninth and off the podium than she was to Holtman and first.
“I told my mom, 'I just want one medal, I just want one medal and that's it,” Holtman said holding her gold medal. “I didn't expect it to be this medal.”
Holtman's big day didn't end there either. The final event of the day for the Spoofhounds was the girls' 200-meter dash — another event where Holtman wasn't the favorite. Her 26.21 sectional time had her seeded fourth, the same as the 400 meters.
Once again, Holtman out-performed those expectations and found herself standing alone on the top of the podium. Holtman again blew away the field with a 25.52 — a new school record — over half a second faster than second-place Sakoya Johnson from Lutheran (St. Charles). For comparison, second- and fourth-place were only separated by .09 seconds.
“I was very relaxed before that race,” Holtman said. “I did not think that was going to happen. I wasn't really in the mindset to run because I was so tired from my (400 meters), but I came out and performed, I guess.”
It was Holtman's first year at state after injuries derailed her freshman year and last season was cancelled.
Holtman is just the second individual state champion in the history of Spoofhound girls track — joining Jordan Stiens — and the only Spoofhound girl to be a state champion in multiple events.
“Freshman-year Brooklynn would be mind-blown,” Holtman said.
Holtman's first state medal came earlier in the day with the 100-meter dash. Holtman took seventh in the tightly-contested event with a 12.86. The winner — Delaney Weimer of New Covenant Academy — finished with a 12:67 which just beat runner-up Avery McVicker of Cameron.
“That 100 was kind of her warmup,” Bade said. “It kind of got her feet wet because she hadn't been down here.”
Spoofhound senior Ilse Flores capped a high-school career which included a state championship in volleyball last fall with a ninth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. She ran a new personal-best with a 16.79 in her final race.
“We really like this group of kids and we are sad to see some of these seniors leave partly because we missed out on coaching them last year,” Bade said. “Coach (Heather) Stoecklein, she's like, 'I wish I had Ilse for another year — I just want to coach that kid one more year.' That speaks to Ilse's athleticism, but also the type of person she is. We love this group of kids.”