Top Cat: Runners close to top marks

Thursday, February 5 2009 - Illinois Intercollegiate

Freshman, senior could qualify for nationals

Senior mid-distance runner David Holm and red-shirt freshman sprinter Zye Boey are not satisfied.

Holm and Boey are both coming off impressive performances at Saturday's Illinois Intercollegiate meet in Lantz Fieldhouse with the Eastern men's track team.

Boey, a sprinter for Eastern men's track team, ran a 6.66 second 60-meter dash, which ranks him seventh in the nation. Holm also hit the NCAA provisional mark in the 800-meter run in a time 1 minutes, 49.0 seconds. His mark is currently third in the NCAA this season behind Texas' Jacob Hernandez, the reigning NCAA Outdoor champion, and Northern Iowa's Tyler Mulder, who is the reigning NCAA Indoor champion.

Both marks are NCAA provisional marks. The provisional mark means they are now on a waiting list to see if they can compete at the NCAA National Indoor Championships from March 13-14 in College Station, Texas.

For Boey and Holm, they are at opposite ends in their Eastern career.

Holm, who has been close before, is now in contention for the school record and a trip to the national meet.

"I've never hit it before," Holm said. "I was ecstatic."

He wants to run 1:48, and thinks with the upcoming meets at Notre Dame and Iowa State, that running a fast time is possible.

"David's been working real hard since he's got there," Eastern head track coach Tom Akers said. "He's got a little bit more focus (this year)."

Holm's mark is still second on the Eastern career charts behind Jim Maton (1:48.62 - 1988), but he did set a new Lantz Fieldhouse record. The previous mark was held by Carl Bell of Southeast Missouri in 1984.

Holm is also focused on his team as well. He wants the team to win the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championship, and he also wants the distance medley relay team to qualify for nationals as well.

While Holm has been steady throughout his Eastern career, Boey's is just beginning.

Boey has high expectations after having to red-shirt his freshman season because of NCAA Clearinghouse issues.

He said Eastern was a last-minute decision.

Boey trained on his own last season and prepared himself for this season.

But it wasn't always easy. He said he got low on himself, but other teammates, coaches and even his high school coach helped him out.

"But I kept with it," Boey said.

He already has established top marks this season. Boey's 60-meter dash is also an Eastern record. The previous school record was 6.69 seconds held by Claude Magee (1984) and Cameron Mabry (1998). He also won the 200-meter dash.

Akers couldn't really explain why Boey is so strong at this point this season.

"He really has his mind focused on the right things," Akers said.

Boey wants to run the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash at indoor nationals and wants to be an All-American.

The last Panther to participate at the indoor national meet was Gabe Spezia in 2000.

"It's great exposure for our program," Akers said. "It's obvious it's exciting for our program."

Top Times

• Men's 800-Meter Run Auto: 1:48

Athlete, School, Time
1. Jacob Hernandez, Texas, 1:48.72

3. David Holm, Eastern, 1:49

• Men's 60-Meter Dash Auto: 6.63

1. Trindon Holliday, Louisiana State, 6.56

7. Zye Boey, Eastern, 6.66

• Note: These times are based on results from this season so far.

There are runners that have not competed in these events this season, but still have the opportunity to before the NCAA Indoor National Championships in March.

Kevin Murphy can be reached at 581-7944 or at