Holdsworth Makes Most Of Limited Competition Opportunities
The GNAC record-holder in the indoor 800 meters, Derek Holdsworth continues to find competition opportunties despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The GNAC record-holder in the indoor 800 meters, Derek Holdsworth continues to find competition opportunties despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, July 27, 2020
by Western Oregon Athletic Communications

PORTLAND, Ore. – Trying to get in as many races as possible, Western Oregon's Derek Holdsworth has spent the past few weeks competing in various meets. On July 17, Holdsworth joined former Western Oregon standout Dustin Nading in The Bigger Friendly in Portland, hosted by the Portland Track Club.

Holdsworth placed second in the 600 meters with a time of 1:17.08. He finished ahead of Drew Windle, who runs for Brooks Beasts and a teammate of former Western Oregon standout David Ribich. Windle won a silver global medal during the 2017 World Championships in the 800 meters.

Nijel Amos, currently part of Oregon Track Club Elite and a silver medalist in the 800 meters at the 2012 Olympic Games, won in a time of 1:15.86. 

"I'm pretty happy with how I've been racing recently aside from my mile attempt on the Fourth of July," Holdsworth said. "My first 800 since the indoor season was an okay rust buster. I ran 1:47.90 in Virginia while I was at home. Then a few weeks later, I ran 1:17.08 over 600-meters which would be a two-second official personal-best. Being able to run against one of the fastest 800-meter runners of all time was pretty cool and I can't wait to get after it some more."

Prior to the pandemic shutting down the NCAA Indoor Championships, Holdsworth was on a roll and was setting up to compete for not only a title in the 800 meters but as part of the Wolves' distance medley relay as well.

Holdsworth was named a USTFCCCA All-American and set a new standard for the 800 meters this season when his time of 1:47.74 not only won the UW Invitational, but that time stood as the fastest in all of NCAA Division II this season. His time set new GNAC and WOU school records and was tied for fourth this season across all college divisions. In addition, his time in the event is fifth in Division II All-Time.

Holdsworth won the GNAC Indoor Championships in the 800 meters and was part of the 4x400 relay team that placed second at the championships. Holdsworth was set to compete in the 800 meters at the NCAA National Championships, along with the distance medley relay team. Earlier in the year, he was named the USTFCCCA West Region Male Athlete of the Year award, along with taking home the GNAC Male Athlete and Newcomer of the Year honors.

Nading, a five-time All-American and the 2018 national indoor champion in the mile and with Western Oregon's DMR, competed in the 1,000-meter posting a time of 2:22.25 to come in fifth. He also went against a loaded field that included race winner Josh Kerr, who runs for Brooks Beasts and won a gold medal at the 2015 European Junior Championships.

"These last few months have been an opportunity for many in the sports community, including myself, to reflect and take time for introspection. Athletes have had to ask themselves hard questions like what does sport mean to me? What does dedication look like? How can I move forward without my community?" Nading said. "This summer has been a time for me to revisit the basics and invest in the process. Working out week after week alone can be difficult, but it also makes you really appreciate the sport of track and field, the teammates, coaches, and the entire community."

This past season running for the University of Washington, Nading competed in the mile and distance medley relay, posting a top time of 3:59.25 in the mile at the Husky Classic and was part of a DMR that placed second at the MPSF Indoor Track & Field Championships.

"Competing at Portland Track was a breath of fresh air and an exciting opportunity to assess my fitness against an outstanding professional field. Portland Track always does an outstanding job putting on meets here in the Northwest and that has not changed during this pandemic," Nading added. "It can be easy to take competition for granted when races are happening every week, but these rare opportunities have become very special. Getting back on the track with competitors and setting a PR in an event rarely run outdoors, the 1,000-meter, helps me build momentum for races the remainder of the summer and into my final collegiate track and field season with the University of Washington next year."