“I run for them because I know that they can’t,” Olson said. “This is something that physically pushes me.”
Olson finished in 18:49.23 — the top time among 3A girls — to help the Patriots earn a first-place team finish for the fourth year in a row.
For 4A girls, Howard ran away with its third title despite Walter Johnson senior Jenna Goldberg finishing with the second-best time ever, 17:50.47. The Wildcats took third, with Severna Park coming in second.
On the boys’ side, South River senior Sam Keeny set the state meet record, finishing in 15:34.98.
“I wanted to take that first mile out slow,” Keeny said. “It’s a tough course, and it will eat you alive if you’re prepared for it, but I capitalized and made a gap.”
Arundel senior Tanner Piotrowski also beat the course record of 15:43.00 by clocking in at 15:42.44 to earn second place among 4A runners. Severna Park, led by Jake Gelfand (15:53.37), outpaced the competition, finishing with 43 points to win the 4A boys’ title for the third year in a row. Northwood came in second, while Blair placed third.
River Hill won the 3A boys’ title, with Anish Nanjappa (15:45.64) winning his second title.
Also winning a second career individual title was Olson, who encouraged her teammates to wear green ribbons to support any cause that meant something to them.
As Olson was closing in on the finish line, she could hear her brothers, Lincoln and Cooper, screaming her name, which gave her the motivation to distance herself from the other runners.
“We had a team dinner, and she told us what it meant to run for more than yourself,” Northern Coach Josh Dawson said. “Having two brothers that may not live past their mid-20s weighs on you, so this meant a lot to her.”