Graphic Credit: Logan French
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Georgetown Day School's (DC) Ziyah Holman has signed to the University of Michigan.
Holman, a 400m specialist and currently No. 18 on MileSplit's Class of 2020 rankings, finished her junior year with a US No. 5 effort in the 400m.
The senior is the third fastest returner heading into her final season. She exclusively announced her decision live on MileSplit's Instagram in front of friends and family.
"I mean the people were so amazing," Holman said of Michigan. "The students seemed so invested in their academic work as well as on the track. They made sure that they were very truthful with me, they also made it ok for me to express how I really felt about Michigan and what my concerns were, and they were honest about it. The honesty was key, they didn't want to see me in a bad position, and I appreciated that."
When looking for her future home, Holman was focused on finding the best athletic and academic balance.
Aspiring to practice law, Holman picked one of the top institutions in the country for her degree of choice. Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy ranks No. 1 in the country. It also has the fourth best political science program in the country, as well as a top 10 law school program.
On her visit, it was apparent to her that the staff did their homework. Holman said she was given a tailored experience around her interests; they even had people from the political science department show her around.
In September, she announced her top six schools and then consolidated the list into four official visits at Clemson, Michigan, Texas and UCLA.
Deciding to become a Wolverine was an enlightening process for Holman. She said she was able to learn more about herself through the recruiting process more than she could have in any other situation.
Holman's relationship with head track and field coach James Henry allowed the Wolverines to rise above the competition.
"I know he's going to put me in a position to do what I do best," she said. "He's also connected me with so many people to make sure I'm setting myself up academically for the right transition. So, I know he really cares about me as a student, as an athlete, as whatever I need. He told me that I have an opportunity to be a world class lawyer and a world class athlete."
Holman had a career-defining season last year, beginning with her indoor efforts. She ran US No. 4 and US No. 3 marks in the 300m (38.53) and 500m (1:13.74), which led to an elite transition outdoors. She won two additional DCSAA Outdoor Championships in the 200m and 400m and then earned a national title in the 400m at Brooks PR Invitational -- her biggest win up to that point.
To conclude her postseason, the senior was selected for the Pan American U20 team after her third-place finish at the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships in the 400m, with a new PR of 52.12. Holman and her three teammates went on to win gold in the 4x400m relay for Team USA in 3:24.04 and set a new World Junior Record, where she also split under 52 seconds.
The senior will have the opportunity to be the 400m leader in her debut season for the Michigan.
"I want to be the first to do it," Holman said. "I'm a strong person, I can run fast wherever I am, I'm coachable and I want to write my own legacy and be the face of the institution now."
With her decision finalized and her eyes on her final high school season, Holman is more than ready to be a Wolverine.
"I'm super excited to be on this new path because I honestly deserve it," she said. "A lot of hard work has paid off and I feel glad that I can finally take this burden off and start my new journey and get acclimated to college life."