Tim Holmes, a former Lakewood High School standout, signed with Baylor University so he could be on the same track team with his best friend, Trayvon Bromell. Holmes has developed into one of the top hurdlers in the nation. At last week's NCAA Division 1 track and field championships, the freshman finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in 50.07 seconds. He also ran a leg on the 4x400-meter relay team that took seventh in a season-best time of three minutes, 4.89 seconds. Holmes talked to the Tampa Bay Times about what it was like to run — and perform well — for a program steeped in tradition.
1 How would you describe your first season of college track and field?
"It was a tough at first. I pulled my left hamstring in the offseason in the fall, then pulled my right hamstring during the indoor season. I knew I had to get stronger. The coaches had me doing a lot more with weights. I also worked on my technique to get faster. I kept improving during the outdoor season and dropping my time. In the finals, I didn't get a personal record, but it still was a fast time, and I felt like it was a pretty good showing."
2 Olympic gold medalists Sanya Richards-Ross and Jeremy Wariner both train at Baylor. What is it like to have two world-class athletes at practice every day?
"Both have been a big help. They work with us and help to push us. We know we can go to them for advice to help us become better athletes."
3 How big was it to be able to run with Trayvon on the same team in college?
"It made the transition easier having someone I know who is such a good friend. A lot of upperclassmen didn't think we would do as well our first year of college. They said this was different. Now, everyone is fast. But we both showed we could compete. Slowly, people started to see that and saw that we could continue doing the same things and keep producing in college."
Bob Putnam, Times staff writer