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Holland native leads ‘sprint mob’ at Hope College

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HOLLAND, Mich. -- Hope junior, Justin Freeman, from West Ottawa High School had the fastest time in Division III in the 100m dash a few weeks ago at the Emory Invite, but says it was unexpected.

"It was interesting it actually felt pretty slow... I wasn`t expecting a 10.5, but it was a great feat not only for me, but for all the sprinters as well. I`ve known I can run that fast for a while now, last year I had some injuries that held me back a little bit. But you know that`s always in the back of my head just trying to run it the fast as I can."

And the way that Justin has picked up momentum this season has been huge for everyone in the 'sprint mob.'

Coach Kevin Cole said it's been great to see him step up. "It`s been one of the most gratifying things I think of watching Justin this year. He`s becoming leader and I love to see that from all my athletes, but it`s been really neat to see him do that because we`ve got a great group of sprinters this year. He`s kind of taken on that leadership role of that and he`s pulled them along with him, but they`ve also made him better, too."

Justin said he aims to lead by example. "I call us the `sprint mob` and you know being the leader has been a real pleasure. But it`s been a big thing for me to go out there and compete and show them that I`m not just talking at you guys, I`m going and competing right next to you."

The Hope men's track and field team had three first place performances at the recent Wheaton Invitational in Illinois, but still have their sights set on more in the season ahead.

"I want to look beyond just the meets that we`re doing now," Coach Cole added. "You always try to win each event that you go to, but with these guys we need to look beyond that. We`d like to win the conference. We`d like to set some records and ultimately qualify for nationals and see how far we can go with that. Justin can do really well by himself and then that 4x100 relay team is also ranked very highly in the nation, too."

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