TRAVERSE CITY — Holly Bullough felt honored.
The St. Francis freshman won the girls’ 1,600-meter run — and with it the Ryan Shay Memorial Cup — at Tuesday’s Record-Eagle Honor Roll track meet at Traverse City Central.
Bullough finished in 4:59.57, one second off her personal best.
“This is quite the honor,” Bullough said after winning the Cup. “At Central Lake (earlier this season), I won the two-mile and I got an award similar to this. And I actually got to meet (Shay’s) parents, which was awesome. I feel so bad for (what happened to) him. He’s kind of my role model. He was amazing.”
Shay was an 11-time state champion at Central Lake, an All-American and national champion at Notre Dame and a five-time USA champion. He collapsed and died during the Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City in November of 2007.
On Tuesday, Bullough led almost the entire race, although Traverse City Central’s Katie Moses stayed just off her shoulder.
“Katie was right there,” Bullough said. “She did amazing. She pushed me. I like having competition like that.”
Bullough opened a gap on the sprint to the finish.
“I was happy with how I could get the energy at the end,” she said. “I was feeling all right during the race, but at the end it was like, ‘I’m going for it. I’m doing it.’”
St. Francis coach Julie Duffing was not surprised.
“She’s phenomenal,” Duffing said. “I had her last quarter at 1:11. It was exciting to watch her.”
Bullough was originally expected to run the 800, too, but Duffing pulled her from that race with the state meet Saturday.
“I decided to go easier on her today because she has such a full schedule Saturday,” Duffing said.
Bullough is seeded No. 1 in the 1600 and No. 2 in the 800 and 3200 Saturday.