Hazen High School track and field athlete, Olivia Conklin, has finished second in the state in the Washington State Heptathlon, and has earned a score during her performance that ranked her top ten in the country for the event.
The heptathlon is a competition that combines seven events including the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin, and the 800-meter run.
Conklin has been running track since she was seven-years-old, but it wasn’t until she began high school that she started training for the heptathlon after her parents suggested it.
As a track athlete, as well as a basketball and soccer player, Conklin was already a versatile athlete. However, she knew she would need to hone all of her skills in each of the seven heptathlon events.
“I felt like I was good at every event, but not necessarily the best at any one specifically,” she said.
Her favorite event is the 100-meter hurdles, and her most challenging is the very technical javelin throw.
By the end of her Junior year, she would put on a spectacular performance in which she not only set personal records in all of the seven events, but she also recorded a total score that her coach says gave her the highest total of any high school athlete of her age in the entire country.
Conklin said she approaches a heptathlon with a game plan. Before she heads into the events she has a pretty good idea of what kind of score she will need to achieve on each event to win the whole 16-person competition.
“If I do good in one event it will pump me up for the next,” she said. “If not, it will still pump me up.”
Conklin said she often remembers the words of a coach she had, to “think ahead,” when things get tough. Be it a difficult work out, or a competition.
She is very appreciative of Hazen HS Track Coach and the support he has given her. She said he frequently reminds her that he will always be on “Team Liv.”
Ryan said heptathlon athletes are some of the “greatest athletes on the planet,” because they put in the work that no one else will. He said it requires a lot of commitment to technique, conditioning, nutrition and lifestyle.
As she enters her Senior year of high school, Conklin hopes to take her talents to the collegiate level to be both a track athlete and a basketball player. She has been in touch with several coaches who have expressed their interest.