Olson leads Greene County into Drake Relays
By BRANDON HURLEY
Brooklynn Olson is no stranger to Drake Stadium.
The senior, who holds the Greene County school record in both the shot put (38-05) and the discus, has always possessed the talent, but now, with an improved sense of confidence, she’s poised to stake her claim among the state’s best at the 2021 Drake Relays.
The 111th running of the state’s most prestigious track and field event was held last week in Des Moines.
Olson was armed and ready, anxious for a chance to prove herself. She was poised to make a serious run at a state title in both the shot put and the discus last year before the Coronavirus pandemic wiped out the season. She’s back now, with one goal already achieved, itching for her moment to shine.
Olson’s confidence is what sticks out most this season, Greene County head coach Derek Merk said a few days prior to the spring opener in March.
“She knows what she’s capable of. She’s got a routine down,” Merk said in a preseason interview. “She trusts the coaching. It’s been neat to see her grow as an individual, and especially that confidence built in her over the years.”
Olson is ranked 25th in the state across all classes in the shot put with a top throw 38-05, a school record-tying mark she achieved April 6 in Panora. That season-best ranks her 10th in 2A. Underwood’s Zoe Rus leads the class with a top throw of 41-11.5 while Mount Pleasant’s Jadan Brumbaugh is No. 1 in Iowa, across all classes with a season-best heave of 44-01.
Olson is one of Greene County’s most battle-tested athletes, and has the accolades to back it up. As a sophomore, Olson placed 11th in the discus at the 2019 state meet.
She’s progressed each year of her high school career, culminating in her consistent top tier placement in the throwing events this spring.
Merk believes health is important for Olson. If she can stay in the lineup, she’ll have a shot at competing for a state title. The talent is obvious, having blown past the old Greene County shot put record, which was just over 35 feet a few years ago.
The sky is the limit for the veteran.
Olson is Greene County’s only Drake Relays qualifier this spring. She’ll see action in the first flight of Thursday’s shot put finals, which will begin at 1:30 p.m.
The Rams just missed out on a number of other qualifiers this spring. The 4-by-100-meter relay quartet of Olivia Shannon, Bri Osterson, Makala Kafer and Natalie Heupel (52.69) are currently seated 53rd in the state, just missing out on the top 48 cut-off.
Osterson was 5 inches from making the cut of the long jump, as she’s currently 41st with a top leap of 16-05. Olson was less than four feet from qualifying in both throwing events, as her top fling in the discus is 114-03, good for 35th in the state, just outside of the top 24.