Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Penn track star's father says she dealt with depression in college

University of Pennsylvania runner Madison Holleran, 19, with her father, James, at Lehigh University during a track meet during the 2013-2014 school year. (Instagram)
University of Pennsylvania runner Madison Holleran, 19, with her father, James, at Lehigh University during a track meet during the 2013-2014 school year. (Instagram)
Story Highlights
  • Madison Holleran had recently seen a therapist to deal with the pressures of school.
  • Holleran jumped from a downtown parking garage to her death Friday.
  • Her father said she had lost confidence in her academics and track abilities.

Madison Holleran, the University of Pennsylvania track star who died in Center City on Friday, struggled with the pressures of college and had recently seen a therapist, her father told a New York City newspaper.

The freshman from northern New Jersey left a note for her family and gifts before she jumped from a downtown parking garage, the New York Post reported after interviewing her father, James Holleran, at the family's Bergen County home today.

"She had lost confidence in academics and she also lost confidence in her track abilities," James Holleran told the paper. "I was worried about her so I texted her that she needed to see the therapist. She said she would."

Madison Holleran, 19, of Allendale, N.J., died at about 7 p.m. Friday after a fall from a garage on South 15th Street near Spruce Street, according to police.

More coverage
  • Funeral for Penn track star announced
  • A funeral Mass will be held noon tomorrow at Guardian Angel Church, 320 Franklin Turnpike in her Bergen County hometown, according to The Jacob A. Holle Funeral Home in Maplewood, N.J., which is handling the arrangements.

    Her social media accounts showed no signs of a young woman struggling with depression and the weight of a first year away from home in a big city. She posted to Instagram a photo of Rittenhouse Square taken with her phone about an hour before her death.

    "There was a lot more pressure in the classroom at Penn," her father told The Post. "She wasn’t normal happy Madison. Now she had worries and stress."

    Over the weekend, the school canceled formal recruitment for sororities in the wake of Holleran's death.

    Penn president Amy Gutmann said in a statement Saturday that "the entire Penn community is deeply saddened by the death of Madison Holleran. She was bright and well-liked with an incredible future ahead of her. There are simply no words that can properly convey the sense of heartache that we all feel at such a tragic loss.”


    Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or bmccrone@philly.com. Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.

    Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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