Heavy Hearts


While there was a lot of track action today, only one school opted to compete, but with heavy hearts.

Last night, Penn freshman Madison Holleran passed away.  She was 19 years old.  She was an active member on the Penn’s cross country squad this past fall, placing 47th at Heps XC (Penn’s 5th scorer).  Her last race was at NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals, where she finished 69th overall.  In high school, she earned All-American status as a part of the Northern Highlands Regional Distance Medley team in 2013, and earned multiple-time New Jersey All-State honors in both soccer and the outdoor 800m during her high school career.  She competed with her high school at the Penn Relays last spring, finishing 8th in the High School Distance Medley Relay Championship of America.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our teammate and friend,” said Penn’s Director of Track & Field/Cross Country, Steve Dolan, in a statement to PennAthletics.com issued by the University. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. This is a challenging time for everyone involved with the program, but we will support each other in the weeks to come and help her teammates and friends find their own ways to honor her memory. We will always carry her in our hearts.”

Individual members of the Quaker teams were given the option to compete today at the Lehigh Angry Bird Invitational.  Some decided to continue to compete while a good number decided to stay on campus.

“Different people are going to grieve in different ways,” Dolan commented. “For some, that means being in a bus with their teammates and coaches, then supporting each other on the track. For others, that means staying here on campus with their teammates and friends. We wanted to let the men and women of our program know that we support them whichever way they choose to deal with this sad occasion and honor their teammate.”

It is always a tragedy when someone dies so young, no matter what circumstances were.  May she rest in peace and we offer our condolences to Madison’s family, friends, and teammates.

Photo from Letsrun.com

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