Holben gets trip to Ship
For much of the spring sports season, Erica Holben was focused more on getting back to full strength rather than setting new personal bests.
The Salisbury senior had come close to making the state track and field championships in each of her last two seasons. This year, a leg injury prevented her from competing at her highest level during the regular season. But Holben timed her rehab just right and had her best performance this year during last week’s District 11 Championships.
She took second place in all three of her events. She not only went home with three silver medals, she also had a ticket to the state championships after clearing 5 feet, 2 inches in high jump.
“I feel pretty good,” she said after receiving her third medal. “I qualified for states in high jump, so I was happy about that. Long jump I could have done better, but I am still happy to place second. And I was pretty excited to place second in triple because this is my first year.”
Holben started the high jump at 4-6 and cleared her first three heights on her first attempt. She got over 5-0 on her second try and made 5-2 on her third try.
Mahanoy Area’s Kendall Bernardyn won the event at 5-2. While she also took three tries to clear 5-2, she didn’t have any misses before that.
Holben’s primary objective this season was to reach the state championship meet. While she was an inch short of her personal best jump of 5-3 from her junior season, she made the state qualifying standard to earn a spot in the field at Shippensburg.
“For me and my coach (Dan Reichenbach) it was a fairly big goal considering I’ve been a couple inches away in both long and high the last couple years,” she said. “Me and him have been working one-on-one in the offseason trying get better.”
Holben earned her long jump medal with a leap of 16 feet, taking second to Pen Argyls Lauren Male, who jumped 16-5.
The district jump was three and a quarter inches off Holben’s season best and even more off her career best of 16-8 ½.
“In the normal season meets I was doing mainly 15s,” she said. “I was happy to get in the 16s again. But I definitely know I could have gone farther.”
This was her first season competing in triple jump, but the three-sport varsity athlete was one of the best in the league and district despite being new to it.
In her high school career, Holben has earned 12 varsity letters. She was First Team All-Colonial League in soccer and was a started on the Falcon varsity basketball team this season.
This weekend she will end her high school athletic career on the biggest stage the state has to offer.
“I’m very excited,” Holben said of going to states in track. “After having a not-so-successful soccer and basketball season, it was nice to have a good track season.”
The state championship meet will be held Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University.
Junior Lily Schimeneck was the only other Falcon girls competitor to earn a district medal last week. She finished just behind Holben for third place in long jump with a leap of 33-7.