New London’s Holt becomes first to sign with Warriors

New London High School senior Dani Holt made Waldorf College history on Thursday, becoming the first athlete to sign a letter of intent with the Warriors’ track and field program.

“Regardless of how fast she has ran or she can run, I think it’s pretty significant when you’re the first person to officially commit to something that’s entirely new,” Waldorf coach Kendrick Clay said.

Tradition and school records are yet to be established, but Holt is committed to helping the Warriors jumpstart their program during the 2014-’15 inaugural season.

“I think that says a lot about her as a person and her family,” Clay said.

Holt qualified for the Class 1A state meet in the 800-meter sprint medley and 4×100 shuttle hurdle relays as a freshman in 2011. She plans to pursue studies in biology and pre-med at Waldorf.

“I really enjoyed the campus,” Holt said. “I like how centralized it is and I won’t have to walk too far. I like small communities because that’s where I’m from and that helped a lot in the decision. Plus, running track is something I really love.”

Holt captured the Southeast Iowa Superconference (SEISC) South Division championship in the 100 hurdles as a junior last season, clocking a time of 17.28 seconds.

Running for the Tigers, Holt didn’t have the amenities that most high school track athletes enjoy. With New London’s school not having a track, she was forced to work even harder to be successful.

“She’s coming from a program where they’ve had to train in the hallways and the gym and on the street,” Clay said. “The fact that she has accomplished what she has speaks to her willingness to overcome more than just those physical hurdles.”

Holt will run the 100 hurdles for the Warriors and her speed will also be utilized in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Clay is eager to see Holt elevate her talents to the next level as the program’s first signee.

“The fact that she has excelled and has a desire to still see what her potential is speaks volumes about her character,” Clay said. “I think that is really what we’re trying to center the program around. We want to bring in kids that have good work ethic, good attitudes, good perspective and good levels of excitement and commitment.”