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  • Writer's picturePana Sports Foundation

Kent Holthaus (Class of 1991) - 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee

Kent Holthaus was a three-sport athlete who ran away with the awards in 1991. Every coach will tell you, “Offense gets the glory, but defense wins the games,” and Kent excelled in defense.

He played football all four years and was named the MVP his senior year as well as Best Defensive Player. He was both a receiver and defensive back and was named to the Mid-State All-Conference Team. Kent also made the Herald & Review All Area Football team. In basketball, Kent was a tri-captain, and received the Best Defensive Player Award at the end of the season.

Track & Field is the sport where Kent shined the most. He was a premier hurdler, ran on the 1600M relay team, and participated in the high jump. Kent set three individual school records and shared in another. At the IHSA State Track Meet his senior year, Kent placed 3rd in the 110M Hurdles, 5th in the 300M Hurdles, and 5th in the 1600M Relay with Mark Michael, Tim Kamer and Kyle Epley. He also received the Panther Certificate of Merit in 1989 for two events, and three events in 1991. Kent was on the Track Honor Roll in five events in 1989 and five events in 1991.

Kent chose Millikin University to continue his track & field career. While there, Kent was a four-year participant, serving as a tri-captain his junior year, and co-captain his senior year. His times are still on the Top Ten record boards: 55M Hurdles – 3rd (indoor); 110M Hurdles – 8th, 400M Hurdles – 8th, 1600M Relay – 3rd (outdoor). In 1992, Kent was a member of the All-American Track & Field Division III Track Coaches Association.

Kent was considered an all-around student. In addition to sports, Kent was a good student who participated in the Science Fair, J.E.T.S. Team, and National Honor Society. He was also on both the Homecoming and Prom Courts with his wife Jennifer (Lynch). Kent was voted Most Athletic by his senior classmates and awarded Athlete of the Year for all three sports.

Kent graduated from Millikin with a degree in Computer Science and has been employed with ADM since 1995. He was a volunteer coach for youth for many years. Kent and Jennifer have four children – and their first grandchild on the way! Three of their children followed in dad’s footsteps and had success as hurdlers at Pana High School.

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