Camp Verde athlete of the week: Already a top hurdler, junior Holdgrafer adds javelin to his slate

Camp Verde junior Christopher Holdgrafer is ranked third in the state in the 110 meter hurdles, 10th in the 300 meter hurdles and eight in the triple jump. (VVN/Halie Chavez)

Camp Verde junior Christopher Holdgrafer is ranked third in the state in the 110 meter hurdles, 10th in the 300 meter hurdles and eight in the triple jump. (VVN/Halie Chavez)

After finding success in hurdles and jumps, Camp Verde High track and field junior Christopher Holdgrafer could be looking at qualifying for the State meet in five events.

Holdgrafer is ranked third in the state in the 110 meter hurdles, 10th in the 300m hurdles and eighth in the triple jump.

“Chris is doing well,” said Camp Verde head coach Mike O’Callaghan. “Chris has qualified in the two hurdles events, the triple jump.”

Last week at the Toro Invitational, Holdgrafer shined despite most of the competition being three divisions above the Cowboys. He won the 110 meter hurdles, finished second in the 300m hurdles with a personal record of 43.77, was ninth in the long jump and was fourth in the triple jump.

O’Callaghan said Holdgrafer is more confident this year after taking second at State in the 110m hurdles in 2017 and then finishing fifth at the Meet of Champions with a PR. The Meet of Champions was the top athletes across all division.

“He’s a lot more confident than he was when he started, you could totally see that this year,” O’Callaghan said. “I think going to Meet of Champions last year, after the season, where you had all the divisions represented, was really a benefit for him.”

This week he will compete in the javelin, a new event this year, for the first time.

“After watching Chris throw in practice, (throwers coach Mike Edgerton) said ‘yes I’d like to give him an opportunity in a meet to get in an official mark,’” O’Callaghan said. “So Chris is doing well, between the jumps and the hurdles, if he turns out to be something of a natural or just works that the javelin enough, that he qualifies there, theoretically he could qualify for five events at State and then have to decide which would he would want to do and that would be exciting to see.”

VVN: How do you think the year’s been going for you so far?

Holdgrafer: So far I think I’m on track. There are a few bumps and scraps every now and then, but nothing setting me back. I’m still improving of course, so I believe I’m on track.

VVN: Are you doing the same events as last year?

Holdgrafer: Yes, they’re also throwing me into some other events sometimes. I’m doing both hurdle races, triple, long but I’m also doing javelin, 4x4, sometimes the relays.

VVN: What’s the javelin been like?

Holdgrafer: Javelin is actually pretty fun, I just kinda wanted to try it and the coach said I was doing well on it, and especially against our own throwers, so he wanted me to try it.

VVN: How do you think you’ve been doing in the hurdles this year?

Holdgrafer: The hurdles, the 110, I’m somewhat stuck at the same time. I’m almost to where I need to get it down, I believe I can, hopefully. But the 300s I’ve been getting down pretty well. Last year I was about a :45 and now I have it down to a :43.7.

VVN: Does the weather affect the times, when it gets hotter?

Holdgrafer: Yeah when it’s hot or you have too many events, it does take a little bit out of it, but if you get in the right mindset, it deals with that on its own.

VVN: So what’s your favorite event to do?

Holdgrafer: My favorite event is the 110s.

VVN: How come?

Holdgrafer: Because it’s just kinda where I found where I kinda belonged, it’s something I was really good at, something I worked hard towards to get to. It’s something that I’m just proud of.

VVN: What other things are you into besides track?

Holdgrafer: Besides track, I’m the CVHS choir, which I really enjoy, also help in the drama department with tech and acting and everything. I also really enjoy cooking.

VVN: How’s school been going?

Holdgrafer: It’s been okay, it’s high school of course, so it’s not the best place. There’s little spots in there that I enjoy.

VVN: Finally, do you know what you want to do after high school?

Holdgrafer: After high school, I’m trying to get a scholarship through track, but I also want to go to a culinary arts institute.

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