Amy Hollshwandner CM ’17 is ridiculously fast. She can probably
out-jump you, out-run you, and—oh, she can most likely launch a javelin farther than you can
kick a field goal. Hollshwandner’s ability to push her body in all of these
events makes her Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ most impressive, and only,
As a heptathlete, Hollshwandner competes in seven different events: the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, javelin throw and 200- and 800-meter runs. While she is most confident in the hurdles, the Lafayette, Calif. native
consistently performs well across the board.
“Her real strength is being able to do a lot of events
well,” associate head coach Glenn Stewart said. “What jumps out to me
is just [her] raw potential. To go from not really being a heptathlete to where
she can finish is motivation for me to keep working hard with her.”
Such potential was noticed by former coach Kendra Reimer, who left the CMS program this year to coach at San Francisco State University. Reimer originally recruited Hollshwandner for the hurdles but then convinced her to try the heptathlon due to her depth of experience in various events in high school.
Outside of the heptathlon events, Hollshwandner is also SCIAC’s
defending 400-meter hurdle champion. She was part of last season’s winning
4×400 relay team and has already posted personal records in both the 100-meter
hurdles and the long jump this season.
“She wasn’t a 100 hurdler, long jumper or high jumper in high
school, so being able to come here and pick up all of these events in less than
a year is impressive,” Stewart said.
Despite her success, Hollshwandner remains humble and admits that she still puts pressure on herself to do her best in every event.
“I get nervous really easily, and I let how I’ve done earlier
in the meet affect how I do later in the meet, so my goal is to have amnesia
when it comes to doing events, especially when it comes to doing the
heptathlon,” Hollshwandner said. “Even if I did great, I don’t want
to let that get to my head.”
In spite of the independent nature of track and field, Hollshwandner is very supportive of her fellow athletes and a dedicated team player.
“She is really passionate about the sport, and that’s really
refreshing when you have someone that really cares about the sport and their
athletes,” sprinting coach Emily Ramey said. “Amy especially wants to
know how everyone is doing and encourages everybody, so she’s really inspiring
in that way.”
In fact, coaches cite Hollshwandner’s positive attitude as contagious and as an integral part of the team dynamic, making the season as much fun for
the coaching staff as it is for her.
“For me it’s really great to coach her because she is willing to work hard, enthusiastic and the type of athlete that
understands what we are trying to do in workouts,” Stewart said.
“That makes my work a lot easier.”
Hollshwandner attributes this attitude to her genuine love for track and field and the fact that she is surrounded by great
“It’s hard to know if my love for track comes from my teammates
or more for my love for the sport,” Hollshwandner said. “I do love
competing, and I love seeing teammates do well. But the best feeling is
finishing workouts together.”
Last year Hollshwandner missed competing at Nationals in the
heptathlon and 400-meter hurdles by just a few spots, so both she and Stewart
have set reaching Nationals as the goal this year. In the meantime, Stewart
vows to continue to help Hollshwandner maximize her potential and build her confidence.
Catch Hollshwandner and her Athenas in their next meet March 28 against Pomona-Pitzer, the University of
La Verne and Whittier College. As Hollshwandner works to improve her
performance in all 7 events, watch out for this multi-talented athlete to
stride her way to the big show.