The Bulloughs' newest star athlete favored to repeat as Division 3 individual champion on Saturday

Cross Country   | Scott Burnstein

State Champs! Sports Network

Traverse City – Holly Bullough prepares and competes as a cross country runner as if it were a contact sport. If you are familiar the Bullough family, her approach isn’t shocking. Neither is her college choice.

The Traverse City St. Francis senior and Michigan State-commit is the defending Division 3 state champion and the favorite to repeat entering this weekend’s state finals at Brooklyn’s Michigan International Speedway.

The Bullough clan is Traverse City’s unofficial first family of the gridiron. Bullough’s father (Shane), uncle (Chuck), grandfather (Hank) and three of her brothers (Max, Byron and Riley) either played or are playing football for MSU.

“Holly is an aggressive runner and aggressive in her preparation and dedication to her sport,” St. Francis cross country coach Ben LaBelle said. “I’ve never seen a runner train, condition and push herself like she does. That’s the kind of family she comes from. Look at her brothers and her dad and you go right down the line from there. She’s really every coach’s dream, humble, smart, focused, a true leader, always displaying a positive attitude, always setting the example for her teammates. In terms of a competitive runner, a competitive athlete, there aren’t any better in the whole state in my opinion.”

Last Saturday Bullough won the regional at Gaylord’s Michaywe Pines Golf Course and dominated. Her time of 17:15.40 was over a minute faster than the second-place finisher and is the state’s fastest time yet recorded this year. Bullough has won state titles in track and field, too (800- and 1600-meter runs).

“I just want to get better every day, set goals and work to achieve them,” she said. “I set a pace for myself and I get into my head and don’t think about anything else, but wha