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Meet Holly, The Mini Golden Doodle Track Star

Apr 23, 2021

Story By Joshua Ornelas, MileSplit

On Saturday in Logan, Utah, it was just another regular day where athletes from Northern Utah were competing to qualify for the Utah state meet at the Grizzly Invitational.

The Girls 4x200m was just wrapping up and on the last heat, it was the home team Logan facing off against  Preston (ID), Jordan (UT) and Morgan (UT).

The race started off clean and Logan looked like a lock for winning the heat until an unexpected opponent entered from the north end of the track and made a dash to the front.

The bandit runner was a mini golden doodle named Holly who had been watching the meet with her family and decided to hop in and showcase her speed against some of the top talent in the region.

Holly joined the race with about 120 meters to go and kicked hard to catch Logan's senior anchor runner Gracie Laney, who could hear someone catching up to her but little did she know that it was little Holly who was just elated to be a part of the race.

Fueled by the crowd's energy, Holly picked off the runners one by one and caught up to Laney and led her into the finish line -- she even cut in front of Gracie right at the end.


Laney later said after the race:

"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!  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!"

Clearly, Laney was surprised but also in good spirits about having some late competition join her for the end of her leg.

After the race, Holly's family picked her up while owner, Kate Heywood of Morgan, was warming up for her 3,200m race, which was one of the next events.

Kate was later asked about the whole situation.

"I was warming up for my race when it happened so it definitely caught me off guard haha!"




Holly after the race

After the meet, Holly's race video had thousands of views, which surprised the Heywood family said they were surprised by. 

The Heywoods have announced that Holly will be retiring from competitive racing and will most likely remain at home while Kate stays on the track in hopes of helping Morgan bring home a state trophy. 

Kate was a part of the Trojan's victory back in October when Morgan took home the state title for cross country.

Perhaps Holly will be able to train with Kate and show her the secret to having such a great kick.