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Albertsons Big Deal Of The Week: Ryker Holtzen (Canyon Ridge)

From novice mechanic to long-distance runner, Ryker Holtzen is looking forward to a successful senior season

By: Brandon Hill
Published: 6/18/2020 12:58:37 PM

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Name: Ryker Holtzen
School: Canyon Ridge
Grade: Junior
Sports: Cross Country and Track

How did you first get interested in your sport?

I was never very good at football, and my older brother had done cross country through middle school. I figured I’d give it a try and ended up loving it while having a bit of success. After that, I just knew running was for me so naturally I did track.

If you play other sports, which is your favorite and why?

Basketball is the only other sport I play. I enjoy getting to hang out with my friends at practice and honestly just getting to play. I think it is a really fun game.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from high school sports?

I would say the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to let things slide. If I have a bad race or bad game, I don’t need to put myself down and focus on it. I try to take something away from every race or game and then let it go so I can prepare myself for the next one.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Just let it rip. Don’t think about the race, just go out and give it your all. It's pretty common advice that has been given to me by a ton of people, but it’s advice that stands true to any runner.

What has been your favorite high school memory so far?

One of my favorite memories was last year's state cross country trip to Lewiston. We went up a day early and it was a ton of fun to get to hang with the team. The course was great and we all had good races; it was just a good experience over all.

What coaches or teachers have made the biggest impact on your athletic career?

I’ve had many coaches that have been a huge part of my running career, but I’d have to say Coach Benoit has had the biggest impact on me. He’s always kept me and my team interested and knows how to get the best out of us. And every once in a while he can be kind of funny.

Which teammates have you really connected with during high school? 

The team I was a part of my freshman and sophomore year was a team that I really enjoyed running with. We were always laughing and were never not having a good time, besides some of the workouts. So shout out to my brother Trajan, Jarom Rojas, Devin Burk, Nathan Baecht and Aaron Seitz.

Is there anyone in your family who have helped you get to where you are today?

My whole family has been nothing but supportive of me in all my athletics, but my parents are definitely the ones who push me the most. They are good about getting on me when I don’t feel like running and although sometimes I think they're insane because of that, I’m thankful for them.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I really enjoy mechanics and learning about older vehicles. I drive a 1978 Ford F-150 that I work on often. 

What would you like to see to all the other Idaho athletes who had their season cut short?

I would love to see something happen, but I don’t know what could be done to replace what they missed out on. I think that if this whole ordeal gets figured out, it would be cool to see some sporting events get held throughout the summer for athletes who missed out on their season.

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