Senior Spotlight: Oakley Olson (Morgan)

How did you first get started running?

On my soccer teams growing up, I was always known as 'the runner' even before I joined a track
team, since I have always loved to run. My freshman year of high school, my soccer team had a
two mile time trial where I finished first, minutes before the varsity girls. The cross country
coach recruited me for the cross country team from it, and by the time outdoor track came, I
decided to quit soccer and never looked back.

Favorite Workout?
My favorite workout would be morning long runs at a hard pace, especially if I can do them with
another runner/biker. Over Covid, my Dad and I bonded by getting up early and driving to our
favorite trail in Maryland. He would bike with a speaker, while I tried to keep pace to hear the
music. My best long so far has been 9.3 miles at 6:18 pace!

Least Favorite Workout?
Definitely 1k repeats. They are an excellent way to condition, but I find them more gruling than
mile repeats.

What was the greatest obstacle you've had to overcome in your high school career?
Transferring to a new highschool my sophomore year of highschool two weeks before my state
cross country meet. Due to a physical altercation from my cross country coach, my parents and I
made the difficult decision to have me train without my coach leading up to state. My dad, who
has no running experience, coached me. In that time I became very alone, as my teammates who
were my closest friends left me. However, despite the difficulties I had been through, that race
was my first break out moment as a distance runner. I remember at the 2 mile mark I decided that
the race was my chance to win states, so the last mile I gave my all for it. When I crossed that
line first, I felt as if I had finally overcome my Goliath.

How do you prepare yourself mentally and physically for a race?
My routine to prepare myself for a meet starts a couple of days before the competition. I focus on
hydrating, hitting some small speed intervals, and recovering through an ice bath, and stretching.
The day before, I will do an easy run and eat my signature sweet potato and chicken pasta dinner.
I also take some time before the race to write down goals and visualize my race.
The morning of my race, I like to braid my hair and curl my ponytail in my signature lucky style
for that season. I tie my green ribbon around my right spike, discuss the game plan with my
coach, and play the same 'pump up' playlist.
However, the most important thing I do before a race is saying a prayer. Whether it is warming
up, on the line, or with my teammates, I always feel comforted and stronger after I thank God for
all the opportunities and strength he has given me to have the chance to compete in the sport I

Any Pre Race superstitions?
I have many! I always eat a sweet potato before a race and I definitely have a lucky pair of bright
green socks I wear (lime green for Muscular Dystrophy). I also follow Olympic Distance Runner
Colleen Quigley's advice on having a signature 'Fast Braid Friday' hairstyle for every race.

Most memorable race?
New Balance Nationals Indoor 2019. My teammates and I decided to race the 4xmile relay going
in seeded around 7th, but racing to get top 6 for All-American status. Two nights before I woke
up with the flu, and couldn't keep down any food for the 24 hours leading up to the race.
However, on the morning of, I decided to drink some Gatorade and pray that I would have the
strength to race. I will never forget the faith my teammates and coaches had in me, as they
continued to have me anchor our relay. I barely remember the race other than my parents screaming
my name and running my legs off. I had miscounted the laps and started to full sprint at 3 to go
instead of 2, which I only realized when my coach said I had another lap to go. In the end, if I
had not miscounted, my team would have not been able to finish 3rd in the nation and met
professional sprinter Sydney Mclaughlin that year!

What is the best piece of advice you have received from either a coach or teammate?
The best piece of advice I have received is from my former cross country and track coach, Josh
Dawson, at Northern High School in Maryland. I have always looked up and had the uttermost
respect for the program and culture he has created. His advice to me has always been simple,
"Trust The Process".

Where are you at on college decisions?
I decided to further my academic and athletic career by signing at Boise State University! I am
so excited for the opportunity to continue to do what I love under one of the most prestigious
programs in the NCAA, and can not wait to move in with my future teammates. Go Broncos!

What are your top 3 goals you wish to accomplish before you graduate?
I want to break 5 minutes in the mile and 10:40 in the two-mile.
I want to qualify for the Brooks PR meet in the spring.
I want to win states in all of my events in indoor and outdoor track & lead my girls to their first
team track title!

Fun Questions

Favorite Food?
Sweet potatoes or barbeque chicken pizza

Favorite Movie?
Since it is almost Christmas, Christmas Vacation

Favorite song?
'Holy' by Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper

Favorite Color?

What's your favorite season and why?
Outdoor track because I love kicking in my races on the track. I also love the big family
the atmosphere that comes from a diverse team of distance runners, sprinters, throwers, and hurdlers.

Do you play any other sports?
I used to play competitive soccer and swim year-round, but now the only other sports I play are
when I cross-train for fun! In my free time I mountain bike, spin bike, swim laps in the pool, do
yoga, and lift weights!

How many pairs of running shoes have you gone through in your lifetime?
Around 13 pairs. My go-to shoe is definitely the brooks ghost 12/13.

What's something that's on your bucket list?
Qualify for NCAA nationals my freshman year, help bring the Broncos to an NCAA cross
country title, and win an NCAA title by my senior year.

If you could have 1 superpower, what would it be?
I would definitely want to be able to teleport. If I could teleport I would always be on time for
everything haha!

What's one fun fact about you?
When I run, I tie a green ribbon around my spike with the words ``muscular dystrophy" written
on it. Ever since my junior year cross country season, I have focused my racing on bringing
awareness to the rare muscular condition my two brothers have. The disease shortens their
lifespan significantly and breaks down their muscles, causing walking to be hard and running
long distances to be nearly impossible. Every year for state cross country I always talk to my
teammates about running " because we can, for those who can't", and challenge them to choose
their reason on the lime-green muscular dystrophy awareness ribbon. When I run for my
brothers, I feel new strength and reason behind my purpose.