Green Fields soph leaps to state 1A title - The Explorer: Sports

Green Fields soph leaps to state 1A title

Maya Holzman equaled mark of 5A champ

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Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:07 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Green Fields Country Day School, a 75-year-old K-12 school with 65 students, doesn't field a football team. The 1A school can claim an Olympic gold medal performer, gymnast Kerri Strug, among its alumnae.

Truth is, though, if you drive too fast down Camino De La Tierra, you might miss Green Fields.

So when sophomore Maya Holzman won the state championship in the high jump, it was more than a little improbable. Holzman leaped 5 feet, 1 inch, the same as that cleared by the 5A state champion. She also finished second in the long jump with a 15-3.25 jump, two inches away from a championship.

"It was very exhilarating," Holzman said. "I was really proud."

At Green Fields, conditions are far from ideal, so Holzman has to improvise.

"We don't have a track," said track coach Tom Danehy. "We're in the process of getting the track facility built."

"We have no jumping surface, so Maya practices on grass, jumping over a makeshift apparatus that was built by a friend of one of our maintenance guys," Danehy said.

"We obviously don't have the facilities," Holzman said. "I'd been looking at videos and tried out the techniques."

Holzman foreshadowed her state performance with her showing at an invitational at Round Valley.

"That was the first time I jumped five feet in the high jump," Holzman said. "It was an amazing feeling."

"I've been around sports a long time, and this is one of the most impressive things I've ever witnessed," Danehy said.

Green Fields has fielded a track team for three years. There were only three girls in the track program at the end of 2009, not enough for even a four-woman relay team.

"I asked Maya (who was playing softball) if she would come after that season was over and join the relay team," Danehy said. "Maya played her final softball game and walked over to the track. We had the high jump bar set up and she asked if she could try it."

She still had her softball uniform and cleats on, yet cleared the state-qualifying height in her first jump ever.

This year's team had a second track star in freshman Natalie Massarany. Massarany finished fourth in the high jump at state.

"We gave each other tips," Holzman said.

Holzman's true sports passion may be basketball.

"Defense is my favorite thing," Holzman said. "Blocking shots is very exciting."

She averaged 13 rebounds a game in her sophomore season playing for Danehy, also the basketball coach.

"Because of her ability, I had to play her on the block," Danehy said. "I want to win and develop her as a player, too. She absorbs a lot."

Next year, Danehy plans to use Holzman as both a passer and a rebounder. The Griffins went 18-9 last season, and Holzman was the team captain.

"She has that aura of competitiveness that I like a lot," Danehy said.

Holzman is also a straight-A student. In spite of her athletic and academic prowess, her future might be as a singer.

"I'm really into singing," Holzman said. "I'd like to go into musical theater. Maybe on Broadway. My Dad has been very encouraging."

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