Freeport native Mark Hollis, pole vaulting champion, inducted into Olivet's Athletics Hall of Fame

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Mark Hollis (center) inducted into Olivet's Athletics Hall of Fame by Dr. Jim Knight (L), chair of the Hall of Fame Committee, and Mike McDowell, head coach of track and field program

BOURBONNAIS, IL (11/11/2013)(readMedia)-- Olivet Nazarene University's Department of Athletics announces the addition of Mark Hollis, a 2007 graduate, to Olivet's Athletics Hall of Fame during the 2013 Homecoming & Family Weekend. He is a native of Freeport.

While at Olivet, Hollis was the 2006 and 2007 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor Track and Field Pole Vault National Champion. He also placed second at the 2005 national outdoor meet and second in the 2007 indoor meet. He holds both the indoor and outdoor school records for pole vault at Olivet.

Following his outstanding career with the Olivet Tigers, Hollis turned professional. His first championship came at the 2010 Millrose Games. He went on to become the USA Track and Field Outdoor National Champion in 2010 and Indoor National Champion in 2011.

Also in 2011, he placed fourth in the outdoor USA national championships, and was a member of the USA World Championship team in Daegu, placing 11th. He placed third at the 2012 indoor USA national championship meet.

Hollis has been ranked as high as third in the USA and 10th in the world. His personal best is 18 feet, 10 ΒΌ inches. One of his greatest accomplishments was competing in two USA Olympic Trials, placing ninth in 2008 and fifth in 2012.

According to Mike McDowell, head coach for Olivet's track and field program, "Mark has been an ambassador for pole vaulting around the USA. He has set a standard for younger athletes regarding what it means to be a student of your sport. Mark's impact on our program is still felt today."

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering more than 100 areas of undergraduate and graduate study, including the Doctor of Education in ethical leadership. Olivet has one main campus in Bourbonnais, Ill. - just 50 miles south of Chicago; three additional sites: Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Ill., and Hong Kong; and more than 100 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies learning locations throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. From Oxford to Tokyo, hundreds of Olivet students also experience the global classroom each year, whether through study abroad opportunities or worldwide mission trips.


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Laura Warfel

Public Relations Specialist

Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, Ill.