Olivia Durr of Poolesville High School has been among the top hurdlers in the Maryland 1A classification since she was a freshman. After three and a half years, she already holds state titles in the 55-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, and the 300-meter hurdles with personal best times of 8.38, 14.74, and 44.78. She was also priviledged with the opportunity to run the 400-meter hurdles at the Penn Relays last year where she placed 11th in 1:03.65. Coming off her first indoor 55-meter hurdle title, she talks about her experience with track over the last few years, what she wants to accomplish before she moves on, and where she will be spending the next four years of her life.
MoCoRunning: When did you first start running track. Why did you choose to start hurdling?
Durr: I first started running track freshman year. I was playing soccer and Scott Mathias was the track coach, too. He encouraged me to try track since he thought I was pretty fast on the field as a freshman. I actually didn't start hurdling since indoor freshman year. I can't exactly remember why I chose to try to hurdle, all I remember is that I really enjoyed it and I wasn't too bad at it either.
MoCoRunning: With your most recent state title in the 55-meter hurdles at the indoor state championship, you have now won a regional and state title in the 55-meter hurdles, the 100-meter hurdles, and the 300-meter hurdles. What else is left for you to accomplish?
Durr: I am hoping for 100-meter-hurdles and 300-meter-hurdles regionals and state titles again. However, I hope to also possibly break the 1A state record for the 300-meter-hurdles (44.07).
MoCoRunning: Running the 400-meter hurdles at the Penn Relays must have been an incredible experience and you performed so well. Describe your experience at last year’s Penn Relays.
Durr: Last year's Penn Relays was so exhilarating. I was just so excited that I even made it to the Penn Relays, it was definitely my main goal last season. I've always wanted to go in an individual event and I finally got a chance to. It was so much different than any high school event. It was very relaxed. I checked in and some of the fastest high school and college hurdlers were around me. I was so nervous because I was all alone when I was waiting. Usually I know a handful of other hurdlers that I can talk to. This time, I didn't know anyone. Thankfully my coach, Michael Trumbull was right above me, literally. I looked up and I heard him yelling at me from the stands a foot from the track asking if I had all my stuff and if I was ready. It was the most exciting race I think I've ever ran. Not only did I try my hardest, I had so much fun.
MoCoRunning: Which meets are you most looking forward to this spring?
Durr: This spring I am definintely looking forward to Penn Relays, obviously states and possibly Nike Outdoor Nationals. The big meets are definitely my favorite. So much more nervewracking, but definitely my favorite and the ones I'm looking forward to.
MoCoRunning: When did you join the Titans track club? What kind of memorable trips have you been on with the Titans?
Durr: I joined the Titans track club after being encouraged to by my mom after sophomore year. She had heard about it and said they practiced at Northwest, the local high school, and that I should get Jenny Reid and Karissa Harris to run with me during the summer. I thought about it and eventually decided to do it, and Karissa and Jenny ran too. I've been on a bunch of fun trips with the Titans but my favorite was probably the Disney Nationals meet. We all stayed in the same hotel and got to go to the parks after we ran. It was so much fun.
MoCoRunning: Where are you going to college and why did you choose to go there?
Durr: I'm going to Dartmouth College. When I was thinking about schools it wasn't on my top 5, and I hadn't even thought about it. But when my parents and I went on a long college trip to places like Princeton, Brown, Colgate and Bucknell, my parents told me they decided to show me Dartmouth; they thought I would like it. I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite. I sent a bunch of colleges a letter inquiring about joining their track team and Dartmouth was one of the first colleges to respond. I kept in touch with Coach Ford-Centonze and decided to take an official visit with a team member. After that I decided that I really loved it and applied Early Decision and got in.
MoCoRunning: Why is it that you seem to be friends with every track athlete in the county? Are you the most popular athlete in Montgomery County?
Durr: Haha, I don't know. I'm pretty sure I'm not the most popular athlete in Mongtomery County. I'm just friendly and always think it's gracious to show sportsmanship. I've gotten nothing but kindness from the other older track athletes when I was an underclassmen; it made me more comfortable and I really appreciated their kindness so I decided that I wanted to show the athletes who came after me the same kindness. Athletes in Montgomery County are generally extremely nice, plain and simple.
MoCoRunning: What do you like to do outside of track?
Durr: I play soccer in the fall. It was my main sport before track and had been since I was 8 years old. I still enjoy playing soccer, but it's not my favorite. Outside of track I'm not too exciting though, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and playing outside (like on my friends 4-wheeler). I'd also have to say that my other sport outside of soccer and track would be sleeping, I'm really good at that. I also like to ski even though I don't get a chance to ski that much...Dartmouth will give me a chance to ski more thankfully.