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Cross country program inks pair of high school standouts

Eric Holt and Eileen O'Hara to join Bearcats in the fall

February 21, 2013

Cross country program inks pair of high school standouts

Video Feature on Eileen O'Hara

VESTAL, N.Y. – The Binghamton cross country program has received a National Letter of Intent from a pair of high school standouts. They will join the Bearcats in the fall as freshmen and will also compete in track & field.

On the men’s side, Eric Holt (Carmel, N.Y.) is a two-time New York State Sports Writers’ Association (NYSSWA) All-State selection from Carmel High School. He was a first-team Class A selection this past fall and a fourth-team pick as a junior in 2011.

Holt placed third overall at the Nike Cross Country National New York Regional Meet in the fall. He was also third at the New York State (NYS) Class A Championships.

In track, Holt placed sixth overall in the mile at the 2012 New Balance Outdoor Track National Meet with a time of 4:11.90. He also was sixth in the two-mile run at the 2012 New Balance Indoor Track National Meet with a time of 9:07.08. Both performances earn Holt All-America status.

At the state level, Holt was fourth in the 3,200 at both the 2012 NYS Indoor and Outdoor Track Championships. In addition, He has competed at the Millrose Games during the past two indoor seasons. Holt was third in the 2012 high school race (4:17.05) and sixth this season (4:16.95).

On the women’s side, Eileen O’Hara (Webster, N.Y.) was a fourth-team Class A NYSSWA All-State selection in cross country this past fall at Webster-Thomas High School. She was 16th overall at the NYS Class A Championships as well as 23rd at the Nike Cross Country National New York Regional Meet.

Earlier in her senior cross country season, O’Hara was fourth at both the NYS Section 5 Meet and the Monroe Country Championships. She was named All-Greater Rochester by the Democrat and Chronicle at the conclusion of the season.

This past weekend, O’Hara was second in the 3,000 at the NYS Section 5 Indoor Track Championships, with a personal-best time of 10:05. Back on Feb. 2, she clocked a time of 4:39.62 in the 1,500, which at the time, was the fourth-fastest time in New York State.

Last season, O’Hara qualified for the NYS Indoor Meet in the 1,000. Her top time in that event is 2:55.

“We are super excited that both Eric and Eileen are coming to Binghamton,” head cross country coach Annette Acuff said. “Both are the most accomplished male and female high school distance runners that we have signed in my 13 years at Binghamton.  As you can imagine, these are very special signing for our programs. They both have very good middle-distance speed plus cross-country strength that will allow them to be very competitive at the collegiate level.  We look forward to seeing them excel in cross country and on the track for the Bearcats.”

Binghamton returns all seven of its top men’s runners as well as four of its top five women’s runners this coming cross country season. At the recent America East Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Bearcat men’s distance runners scored 53 points in helping the squad to a runner up finish.

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