It’s going to be quite a weekend for William Chrisman senior Camryn Holloman, who has become the face of the Independence high school over the past four years.
Friday, she is heading to Jefferson City for the Missouri State Track and Field Championship, and on Saturday, the Student Council president, National Honor Society secretary and volleyball standout will walk across the stage and pick up her diploma.
“And I told my parents that I’m going to be wearing a state medal around my neck when I get my diploma,” quipped Holloman, who won the rain-soaked Class 5 sectional triple jump.
Holloman, who has a flair for the dramatic, edged Lee’s Summit West’s Jessica Haney 37 feet, 1 inch to 37 feet on her final jump to bring home a gold medal before heavy rains forced the Saturday meet to conclude on Monday.
And she did it on a swollen right ankle that she injured back at the Summa Invitational at Chrisman several weeks ago.
“We had it taped up,” Holloman said. “It really felt good. Our trainer Lindsay (Holder) did a great job helping me this week, and despite the rain it was good jumping conditions early in the morning.
“And it’s funny – it hurts more when I’m just walking on it than when I’m competing. When I’m on the track, I don’t even notice it.”
She did not medal at state as a sophomore and placed eighth last year.
And this year?
“I’m going for the gold,” she said, grinning.
Holloman will join two of her sectional gold medal winning teammates at state – Reana Lagrone, who tied her personal best of 10 feet, 6 inches to win the pole vault; and Bears sophomore Jacque David, who broke her school record and personal best 136-3 in the discus with a mammoth toss of 148 feet, 7 inches in the sectional meet.
Holloman said coach Tyler Rathke has made track and field fun again at Chrisman and is building a stronger program.
“Coach Rathke did the impossible when he made track cool at Chrisman,” Holloman said. “Now, with the success we’ve been having, everyone wants to be a part of the team. And that is something I never even thought about when I was a freshman.
“I think we’re taking a van to state and my dream is to take so many kids compete at state that we have to take a school bus. And it’s going to happen, and I think it’s going to happen soon.”
Holloman, who might stand 5 feet tall on a good day was an unassuming freshman who soon burst on the scene and became a difference maker on the track, the court, the classroom and in her community.
“Cam is William Chrisman High School,” said Rathke, who spoke softly and briefly had to battle his emotions when talking about the one-of-a-kind senior leader. “She asked me to write something in her yearbook, and I told her that I am not an emotional person, but I wrote some things that I had never told her – but had told all the coaches who had been recruiting her,” Rathke said.
“She has done everything at this school and she has done it well. She is a leader in the classroom. She is an honor roll student, the president of student council, she is about 4-foot-11 and a front row player on the volleyball team and the best is yet to come.”
Holloman, who will attend the University of Central Missouri in the fall, will compete for the Jennies track and field team.
“I can’t wait to see what she does at the next level, but before that, I can’t wait to see what she does at state,” Rathke added. “I can say something about Camryn that I can’t say about any other student over the past four years.
“I’ve seen her in the weight room, the classroom, in the halls, at volleyball matches and on the track and she has NEVER – and that is never in all caps – had a bad day.
“And I don’t know if I will ever experience that again. She is a reason so many things have changed at Chrisman over the past four years.
“Has she been sick? Yes. Has she battled injuries? Yes. But every single day she gives it everything she has and that is so impressive. And that is what I am going to miss the most about her when she leaves.”
And when she does leave, what type of legacy would this pint-sized dynamo like to leave?
“I didn’t come here to make an impact or change things,” she said, “but I guess in a small way I played a role in some positive changes. And things are going to keep getting better and better at William Chrisman, and I wouldn’t trade the last four years for anything.”