Last weekend produced a number of impressive results on the track, but the biggest star to emerge from the action was not an elite athlete or a rising high school phenom. It was Holly, the mini golden doodle who achieved Internet fame when she jumped onto the track during the final leg of the girls 4 x 200 at a high school track meet in Utah, and won the race.
Holly entered the race with about 120m to go, and despite there being a sizeable gap between her and the leader, she unleashed a monster finishing kick and caught up to anchor runner Gracie Laney. The speedy pup was encouraged by the cheering crowd and led Laney to the finish line, cutting in front of her right at the end. Luckily, both dog and runner managed to stay on their feet.
“I felt (Holly) coming up on me on the side about the last 50m or so, I thought it was a runner at first but then I realized that it was a dog!” Laney said in an interview with FloTrack. “I almost lost focus for a second deciding what was happening and still trying to run the race but I just decided to keep running and finish the race with a new running buddy and hope that no one got hurt!”
It turns out, speed runs in Holly’s family, and one of his owners is a high school runner named Kate Heywood, who was warming up for her 3,200m race when her dog entered the race. According to FloTrack, Heywood was the winner of the state’s cross country championships back in October and led her team to the overall victory. Sadly, that was likely the first and last time we will get to watch Holly in action, as the Heywood family has announced that the pup will be retiring from competitive racing, leaving her owner to carry the family torch.