Olivia O’Hara Places 3rd at Coaches Invitational

Kaitlin Carter

Walpole Jumper does the Triple Jump.
Walpole Jumper takes First Place in the Triple Jump at Norwood on June 7.

Leading scorer for Walpole Girls Track with 54.5 points, senior Olivia O’Hara is not only the best triple-jumper in the Bay State League, but she is also one of the best in the State.  On Saturday, May 10, O’Hara traveled to Dillboy Stadium in Somerville to compete at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational — one of the most competitive meets of the year.  Although the event was the longest of the day (the seven flights and finals lasted from 10:30 AM -3:30PM), O’Hara did not waste her time with her jumps.  Getting her best jump of the day in the preliminary round, O’Hara jumped a 36’2.75″ to place 3rd overall.

“Beginning the season my goal was to reach 36 feet,” O’Hara said, “so it felt great to jump it twice Saturday and accomplish one of the long term goals I had for the season.”

O’Hara started her spring track career as a sophomore. In her first season, she competed in several different events such as the 100 meter, the 200 meter, 100 meter hurdles, the high jump, the long jump, the triple jump, and the 4×100 meter relay. Since then, she has focused specifically on the 100 meter, 200 meter, long jump and triple jump. Following in the footsteps of former senior Captains Erin McCarthy and Maddy Shea, O’Hara has stepped up to become one of the more diverse athletes on the team.

Before entering high school, O’Hara was deeply involved in gymnastics. She was a part of the high school gymnastics team for her freshman, sophomore, and junior year. Shockingly, for her senior year she decided to give up gymnastics — which included giving up her title of Captain — to be Captain of the Girls Winter Track instead. This decision definitely provided O’Hara with more experience — most notably in the long jump where she found great improvement going from 15’1 feet (her record for spring 2013) to an impressive 16’8″ feet.

At the start of this spring season, Coach Conor Cashman and Coach Kevin Butera looked to O’Hara to lead the jumpers and sprinters.   So far this spring, O’Hara has established herself as the best long jumper on the team with her personal record of 16’8. This mark also makes her the seventh best long jumper in Walpole High history. In triple jump, O’Hara’s personal record of 36’2″ makes her the best jumper in the Bay State League, and the second best in Walpole High history behind Amanda Logan’s 38’0″.

“38 feet has always been lurking in the back my mind,” O’Hara said, “but I don’t know if it will come this season hopefully sometime in my collegiate career. Coach Butera has been telling me that I am capable of 37 so we shall see what happens in the postseason.”

Already qualifying for the Division 2 Championship, O’Hara has a very good chance of going to All- States and possibly beyond. O’Hara said,  “I have a few postseason goals. First, qualifying to All States for triple or long, preferably both is my goal for the Division 2 meet. My long term goal for this season is to jump 36’6” for triple.”

Along with two seasons of track, O’Hara also succeeds academically. She takes three AP classes: AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science. These classes are all individually challenging, so taking three of them in one year is a huge undertaking.  As for her post- high school track career, O’Hara will be competing as both a jumper and sprinter for Loyola University, in Maryland.

“I chose Loyola because it was a perfect fit academically, athletically, and I will also be in the ROTC program so that I can reach my goal of graduating as military officer,” O’Hara said. “I really like Coach Horst, and felt that I could contribute and improve in the Loyola track and field program.”

Elsewhere on the track at the Coaches Invitational, Walpole Girls Track had 3 other medal winners and set 10 personal records.  Senior Gina Conti placed 5th in the 800m with 2:19.44, and freshman Emily Martin placed 4th in the Freshman Mile with a time of 5:21.  The 4×400 team of Conti, juniors Emma Hunt and Maureen Herlihy, and sophomore Tori Lynch placed 6th with a time of 4:14.  This week, the 5-1 Rebels face Natick on Wednesday and host the Division II Relay Meet on Sunday.