Carmel Middle School student’s throwing success mounts


Carmel Middle School seventh-grader Amyla Holder’s favorite sport might be basketball, but she has proven to be a natural shot put and discus thrower.

Holder, 12, has been throwing shot put since she was 8 years old and made the National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. She started throwing the discus on her own a year later, but the discus isn’t allowed for competitors until age 11.

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Carmel Middle School seventh-grader Amyla Holder pauses with her second-place medal in the discus from National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships competition. (Photo courtesy of DeShaun Holder)

She placed second out of 26 discus throwers in her age division with a throw of 92 feet, 7 inches in the National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Sacramento in late July. She was seventh in shot put with a personal best of 31 feet, 10 inches among 42 competitors. She was named an All-American in both events by virtue of her finish.

Holder said the key was hard work.

“I was getting at least an hour in each day,” Holder said.

Holder finished second in the discus in the Hamilton County meet in the spring. She was the only sixth-grader competing in the discus.

Her throw of 94-8 is third best in the nation for a 12 year old discus thrower.

In the state Junior Olympics meet at Manchester University, she won the shot put and discus. In the regional meet at Wabash College, she finished second in shot put and discus.

Holder is competing for the Carmel Middle School volleyball team and will try out for the basketball team. Holder played basketball for Carmel Pups from third to sixth grade.

“I still throw so I don’t get rusty at all when I’m back in season,” she said.

Her father, DeShaun Holder, said his daughter started training for track in January for the Junior Olympics.

“Her goal is to be able to compete in the Olympics one day,” DeShaun said “The 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles is the first time she will be of age to compete.”

DeShaun Holder is heading into his second season as the track and field coach at University High School. He previously coached track and field at Carmel Middle School, Creekside Middle School as well as Carmel High School. He also served as a basketball and football assistant coach at CHS.