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Athlete of the Week – Syreal Holland

ROCKFORD – Auburn senior Syreal Holland is our new WREX Athlete of the Week, sponsored by Rock Valley College.

Holland won both the 100M and 200M dashes at the 3-A Guilford Sectional last week, punching a ticket to state in both events.

“It was excitement because that was my goal,” Holland said of his reaction to winning both races at Sectionals. “My goal was to go to state for both events. I told my coach, I’m going to state for both.”

And he is, in his final year with the Auburn Knights. But he almost let some mental doubts get the best of him.

“At first I wanted to give up, but something kept on telling me, go,” Holland said. “This is your sport. You’ve got this. So, it kept me going.”

His coach, Kevin Anderson, has helped him hone his technique and get Holland to maximize his potential as an athlete.

“Being explosive, being able to stay consistent with his stride,” Anderson said. “He’d shortchange himself when he started running. We changed his stride a little bit with conditioning and the weight room and so forth.”

Holland also overcame some academic challenges, but worked hard in the classroom so he’ll graduate on time next week with his classmates. But first, he has some business to finish on the track at Eastern Illinois University this weekend.

Derek Bayne

Derek Bayne joined 13 WREX as the sports director in December of 2011. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved back to Illinois after working several years in North Carolina. For any sports story ideas or tips, you can email

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