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Staying Humble

Alexis Holmes, right, combined with teammates, from left, Masai Russell, Abby Steiner and Karimah Davis to set a school record in the 4×400 relay earlier this season. (UK Athletics Photo)

Kentucky sprinter Alexis Holmes has already had a banner indoor season but would like to keep that going at this weekend’s SEC Championships at Texas A&M.

That’s why she said Monday she will treat the SEC meet just like the upcoming indoor national championship.

“I think we definitely have the most competitive conference. So I do kind of approach SEC’s the same way I approach nationals —  just knowing that it’s going to be a really good competition,” said Holmes. “It’s going to be a super fast race, so I just go into it with that mentality. I’m excited. I love competing.” 

Holmes ran a personal best 51.27 seconds in the 400-meter dash on Feb. 12. That’s the best collegiate 400 indoor time this season and not far behind the school record 50.36 posted by recent Olympic gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin in 2018. Holmes had previously had her best time — 52.07 — that was the nation’s best then.

Holmes won the 300-meter dash at the Jim Green Invitational in 37.37 seconds, the fourth fastest 300 in UK history.

The UK senior also combined with Masai Russell, Abby Steiner and Karimah Davis in the 4×400 relay record-setting time of 3:28.62 at the Red Raider Open Jan. 22. She ran her 400 leg in 51.4 — the same time as teammate Steiner.

Holmes insists she goes into every race with the same mentality and knows if she wins, the time will take care of itself.

“I just try to remain humble and go into every race, not really chasing the time, but more just chasing the performance,” she said. “I’m just going to compete, compete to win, and I think everything else that’s supposed to happen is going to happen.” 

Her faith helps her stay grounded and calms her before races.

“I typically listen to a lot of gospel music and motivational speeches on race day. That really helps me to kind of calm the nerves,” Holmes said. “It’s crazy because when the gun goes off, my mind pretty much goes blank until about the last 150 meters.

That’s kind of when I like snap back. It’s really like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m running a 400 right now.’ But yeah, that’s typically what I do.” 

Larry Vaught
Larry Vaught is a seven-time winner of the Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year award and has covered University of Kentucky sports since 1975. Larry now has a syndicated UK sports column appearing in 34 newspapers across the state as well as, and Larry also joins Mark Buerger and Anthony White on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports each week in Lexington as well as appearing each Tuesday with Tom Leach on The Leach Report.

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