ORWIGSBURG, Pa. — Up and running on the Blue Mountain cross country course Olivia Haas is preparing for her senior season. The "AA" state champion in 2020 Haas now has a 5th, 4th and 1st place finish on the course in Hershey. The favorite to re-peat wants to peak in October and November.
"I am so excited. I think our team is ready for a big start. So I am really looking forward to this season. I feel like the pressure is off this year. I feel like it's going to be a lot more fun and exciting this year," said Olivia.
Justin O'Brien is the head cross country coach. In 2020 it was a 4th place team finish at states. Expectations are high with a solid core surrounding Haas.
"It's an honor to coach an athlete like Olivia. I tell our girl's all the time that we are racing four on five at every race because our four just has to beat their five because she is going to be up front. She is completely dedicated to what she is doing and her hard work is paying off. And she looks great right now and hopefully she continues to run that way. God willing she can stay healthy and should have a big big year," said Justin.
"It is really good being friends with Olivia because she is a really good person, and she is really dedicated to her athletics and her academics. So I like being close with her a lot. We do a lot of the sports together and classes so," said Cecilia.
Olivia has made her college choice. She will attend NC State next fall and run for the Wolfpack. She also plans on having a complete high-school track and field season coming up next spring.
"I am so excited because they we're 2nd in NCAA's and 1st in the ACC's. So I am so excited to join that great pack of women. So it's really exciting," added Olivia.
Olivia's dad Randy Haas was the 1979 Cross Country Champion then won (2) gold medals in the 1980 State Track and Field Championships in the 800 and 1,600 meter run. 42 years later his daughter will try to do the same. Olivia was 2nd in the mile and 3rd in the half in May.
Steve Lloyd Newswatch 16 sports Schuylkill County.