Faces in KS: Joseph Holthusen

Joseph Holthusen of Bishop Carroll is among the best hurdlers in KS. (photo: Pete Iseman)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Apr 18, 2018

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Bishop Carroll senior Joseph Holthusen is one of the top hurdlers in the state of Kansas. The senior is a multiple sport athlete that has opened the eyes of many this season in track and field.

Holthusen has been running track since the sixth grade and is so close to reaching goals that he has set for himself. One of those is a school record in the 110-meter hurdles. He is 0.03 seconds off the record, so close that it’s almost frustrating. However, we are still a month and a week away from the last meet of the year and he has plenty of time to crack into the record books. His career best is 14.42 ran last week at the Pre-State Meet in Wichita at Cessna Stadium taking third in the elite class of hurdlers in Kansas. His other goal is to get an individual 5A state title, he took third a year ago in 5A in the 110s. Holthusen ranks #1 among 5A 110-meter hurdlers in Kansas this season and #3 overall in Kansas only behind Tyler Watts of 3A Caney Valley & TayeZahn Crowe of 6A Hutchinson.

“I am a team guy so I want our team to compete for a state title and my personal goal is to win a state championship this year in the hurdles and break the school record.” Holthusen said.

Although Holthusen may not have an individual state title yet in track and field, he has one in football. He was part of the loaded Bishop Carroll football team that won a 5A state title this fall. He had 51 receptions for 743 yards and 11 touchdowns on the way to earning all-league and honorable mention all-state honors.

“I love being a multiple sport athlete and being depended on by my team in both sports. I love working hard and love that I have the opportunity to play both.” Holthusen said.

Being a good football player shouldn’t be a surprise. Joseph’s father, Josh Holthusen, was a Top 11 all-state all-classification football player at Maur Hill in Atchison back in 1992, where he led them to a 4A state championship as a running back.

“I love watching highlights of my dad and seeing all the accomplishments that he had and all the pictures of him in the newspapers scoring touchdowns.” Holthusen said.

He's not made up his mind on where he will continue his education but right now he has several schools interested all the way from NAIA to Division I. 

"It's been great to be recognized by colleges to recruit me and I am just looking forward to continuing the recruiting process." Holthusen said.

Holthusen may have his eyes set at a state title in a little over a month but for now his concentration is on the KU Relays where he will compete with some of the best in Kansas and in the Midwest this week in Lawrence at Rock Chalk Park. We caught up with the outstanding senior athlete below in the latest Q&A edition of Faces in Kansas.

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Q&A w/ Holthusen

How did you get involved with sports?

I have been playing football since 3rd grade and running track in 6th grade.

What are the goals and expectations this season in track and field?

The Bishop Carroll team goal is to win a State Championship. My personal goal is to win a state championship and break the 110h school record (I am only .03 off the record.)

What is it like to go to Bishop Carroll?

Going to Bishop Carroll is amazing because I am surrounded by so many hard working and caring people, especially on the track team. I am not only getting a good education and doing well in athletics thanks to my coaches, but also learning more about my faith.

What are some of the things you do to practice hurdles besides the event itself, what’s training like?

Coach Tim Reynolds, a successful hurdler himself in both high school and college (he went to WSU) creates our workouts which has made me the hurdler that I am today. He pushes me to be the best I can be, and I appreciate him for all the hard work he does for me and the team. Our weekly training consists of intense full speed running on Mondays. We do event work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and lactic tolerance build-up on Wednesdays and repeat 400s on Saturday mornings.

What is it like being a multi-sport athlete and depended upon heavily in every sport, do you play any other sports than football and track?

I appreciate the fact that I was given an opportunity to play both football and track. I have worked very hard in both sports and love that I am seen as a leader in both sports. Being depended upon in both sports lets me know and assures me that I have worked hard and have shown the coaches and others that I am willing to work for every play and every second.

How awesome is state track?                                             

State track has an insane atmosphere! When you walk into the stadium during state week for the first time it is almost overwhelming but rewarding knowing that all of your hard work during the regular season has led up to this one huge moment in your career.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strengths are speed and my work ethic, and although I am still working on my endurance, I am continually trying my hardest during practice when it comes to longer workouts and runs.

Take us through what kind of training you go through year-round?

During my high school career, I have trained year-round. During the summer I was getting ready for football and I lifted weights and ran and did footwork 4-5 days a week. During football we had practice 4 days a week, games on Fridays, and film and running on Saturdays. The winter consisted of different workouts and hurdle work and competing in indoor meets along with partaking in the WSU Hurdles Camp. Track now consists of 6 days a week of practice in any sorts of weather.

How’s the recruiting process going and who’s talking to you?

I have people from Hutch, Friends, and WSU all talking to me.  It is great to be recognized by local colleges, but I have also received numerous letters from colleges further away and I am looking forward to continuing the recruiting process.

Other key athletes on your team this year and what type of team should you have?

We have key athletes in almost every event….the 800, shot put, 400, pole vault, sprints, hurdles, high jump, and relays! But in reality, everyone on the team is a key player because when one person gets better, so does the person above and below them and everyone else on the team.  Bishop Carroll has a winning tradition because the coaches and athletes put in the time and hard work to be successful.

Your dad was once a Top 11 football player, how cool is that?

I love watching highlights of my dad and seeing all of the accomplishments that he received and pictures of him in the newspaper scoring touchdowns and juking dudes out.

Best athlete you’ve ever faced in any sport and who are some key ones this year?

Funny story, one of the best athletes I have ever faced was Will Honas (who is playing for Nebraska this year) during football and even though he was on the same team as me I, I remember one practice where I was running across the middle of the field and got laid out by him. We watched that play on film at least 20 more times after that. Another athlete that I faced during my time at Bishop Carroll was Noah Greene, who although it broke everyone’s heart in 5A when he left, was an all-star athlete. Key runners that I will be facing this year in track though are T. Crough from Hutch (6A) and Austin Mullins from Liberal (5A). I love the competition and those guys help me become better.

Tell us about your accomplishments/goals?

One of my goals has already been accomplished when we won the state championship in football.  I also want to do all I can to help my team win a state championship in track.  My personal goals for this year are winning a 5a State championship in the hurdles and breaking the 110h school record. As of April 17 I am .03 off tying it.

What’s it like to grow up in your town?

I was born in Nashville TN. Moving to Kansas has changed my life and I have met so many great people in Wichita.  I enjoy going to hockey games, Wichita State basketball and being part of a winning tradition at Bishop Carroll.

Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject is anatomy. I am looking to go into Health Science in college.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Wherever God takes me. I hope to be married and starting a family somewhere in the Wichita area.

Best place to eat in your surrounding area?

               If someone else is paying Scotch and Sirloin, if I’m paying- Freddy’s