As a sophomore and junior, Reading’s Patrick Holland was one of just two male runners competing on the cross-country program at Wheelock College in Boston. This season, with Holland serving as team captain, Wheelock fielded a full squad for the first time, with seven runners.
His focus in the classroom (he currently carries a 3.75 grade point average), absorption of running techniques at daily 6:15 a.m. practices, and status as a vocal leader and team co-captain are made more impressive when considering his challenges. Holland was diagnosed as a youth as being in the autistic spectrum.
His crowning achievement Saturday at the NCAA Division III 8K Regional Championships in Gorham, Maine.
“I tell people all the time, it really did start with Patrick, he started the men’s program,” said coach Wole Oke. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Jeff Powalisz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.