SF teen's race finish inspires NY Giants

February 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A San Francisco teenage track star is being credited with helping inspire the New York Giants in their Super Bowl winning season. And it all began with a heroic crawl to a finish in a 5K championship race.

Holland Reynolds is 17-years-old. Not many teenagers can claim that a New York Giants football coach used them as an example of how he wanted his players to perform.

Video was posted on YouTube of Reynolds as she struggled to finish the last 100 meters of a cross country 5K race in Fresno in 2010.

"My legs just started to feel really heavy, like they'd never been that heavy before and I started to slow down almost to like a zombie walk and I ended up collapsing before the finish line," said Reynolds.

Announcers for the race were amazed by Reynolds' determination to finish. Holland crawled across the finish line dehydrated and hypothermic into the hands of coaches.

"I saw the finish line. As soon as I crossed it, from then on it sort of went black," said Reynolds.

Reynolds is the leader of her San Francisco University High School cross country team. The small private school on Jackson Street has a little over 400 students, so it's a close knit group. Reynolds says this finish by her and a championship win by her team was in great part dedicated to her coach, 60-year-old Jim Tracy. He suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease and didn't have a good prognosis at the time.

"We also wanted to make Jim's last season, we thought that maybe it would be his last season a really special one," said Reynolds.

What they couldn't imagine is that New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin would show his players Reynolds' determined finish in order to inspire them.

"He saw Holland on this internet clip and he said this is what we need - keeping our goals ahead of us and getting the job done," said Tracy.

That was early last year when the Giants were in a slump. Now that the Giants have won the Super Bowl, Tracy and Reynolds are proud they may have been some part of that win.

"So it was really flattering that they were looking for me and to Jim for inspiration. Really strange but really pretty cool," said Reynolds.


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