It's one thing to be able to run fast, and another to be able to jump high. But to do both? In the world of track and field, that's quite impressive.
Olivia Gervan of Lancaster turned in an impressive performance in the Olean Invitational on Saturday. She won the 100 hurdles, and was part of a winning 4x400 relay team. Gervan also won the high jump, completing a rare triple.
For that, she's our Prep Talk Girls Athlete of the Week.
Name: Olivia Gervan
School: Lancaster Central High School
Position: High jump, 100m Hurdles, 200s, 4x4.
Sport: Track and Field
Tell us about your week: My week consists of AP classes during the day then right after school I head to the track to practice until 5. On Wednesdays I go to a different facility to specifically practice High Jump. Some days I work a part-time job but I always try to find time to hang out with my friends.
How has your season gone so far? I’m currently working on a new approach with High Jump along with trying hurdles for the first time this season. I also started running the 4 by 400 relay along with 200s. My PR for the season is so far only 5’4’’ which placed me first in WNY and tied for 2nd within N.Y. state, and after my first 100m Hurdle race my time is 16.4. My first 200 open for the season I ran a 26.8.
Highlight of athletic career so far: I have gone to states every since I was in 8th grade and as only a sophomore I placed second in the state for D1 outdoor. I have placed on the podium 5 out of the 7 times I have gone.
Favorite thing about my sport: Although there are relays, all in all track is an individual sport and the only person you can rely on is yourself. There is no one to blame for a bad performance except yourself. The times you run, distances you throw or heights you jump all reflect the amount of work you put into them.
Favorite teammate and why: Jared Rogalski because no matter what he stays positive through everything. He pushes not only me but the rest of our team to do their best. He also loves to challenge himself by trying new events which reveals his dedication and determination.
Toughest opponent and why: My toughest opponent has to be myself. Track is a full-on mind game. Everything you think and feel plays into how you compete. As I see myself about to jump over the bar, I constantly have to think confidently and try and ignore the little doubt in my mind. While running, no matter how bad my mind is telling me to stop I have to use all my strength to ignore the feeling and finish the race strong.
WNY Athlete I looked up to and why: When I was in 8th grade a high jumper named Lauren Hudson befriended me right away. She was the best jumper in the section when I met her and ever since then, I have admired her and looked up to what she was and what she accomplished. She was the most humble and respectful athlete, and that taught me how a competitor should act. Even to this day I still think of her attitude toward track and the other competitors.
Pro/College athlete I admire now and why: Mutaz Barshim is a great and experienced high jumper. I admire his drive and ambition toward what he loves and watching him accomplish his goals makes me positive about the future.
Favorite school subject: My favorite school subject is AP Calculus only because I like the challenge that comes along with it and being able to figure problems out is rewarding.
What’s Ahead: I will be attending West Point in this upcoming year where I will be running on their Track and Field team. I am also hoping to be majoring in Computer Science while attending the United States Military Academy.
Attention, coaches: If one of your athletes had a big week, let us know about it. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday night, and we'll take a look at his or her heroics.