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Turlock’s Walker competes at national Junior Olympic meet
Olivia Walker
Members of the Central Valley Road Runners 4x100 relay team are, from left to right, Oliva Walker (Turlock High), Larissa Hackley (Patterson), TiannaMarie Reyes (Johansen) and Natalie Thorning (Enochs). Photo courtesy Olivia Walker.

Turlock’s Olivia Walker is anything but. She’s a runner, not a walker. A sprinter, really.

Those sprinting talents were on full display last weekend at the 2022 USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium.

The Turlock High junior-to-be, running as a member of the Central Valley Road Runners, competed in the 200- and 400-meter dashes and was part of the 400-meter relay team.

She reached the semifinal round in the 200 with a personal record of 26.02 seconds, but was eliminated in the 400-meter preliminaries after clocking a 59.20 — 1.77 seconds off her PR. 

The 4x100 team — Walker ran the second leg — also bowed out in the prelims despite turning in a PR of 50.92 seconds.

“This has been a really long year,” said Walker, who is coming off a successful high school track season last spring. “But I couldn’t ask for a better one.”

As a sophomore for the Bulldogs, Walker set a school record in the 400 (57.43), breaking the mark established by Julia Handy in 2018. In the high jump, Walker has a PR of 5 feet, 3 inches, just an inch off the school record set by Heather Hernandez in 2002.

Walker secured Central California Athletic League titles in both the 400 and high jump and was part of the 1,600-meter relay team. In fact, that 4x400 team, comprised of Walker, Zoe Lamur, Ava Torres and Ella Spaulding, finished second at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet and qualified for the state meet with a time of 3:57.22.

“We were pretty young last year,” she said. “We’ve got a lot returning this season.”

Walker, Lamur, Torres and Spaulding all will return in 2023.

Walker was also a member of the Bulldogs’ girls basketball team, where she earned All-CCAL honorable mention honors.

“I’ll take two or three weeks off and then begin lifting for basketball,” said Walker.