Olivia Haas showed on Friday that she's primed for another big fall. The Blue Mountain senior won the Lions Invitational at Moravian Academy for the third time in her career. Without the pandemic cancelling last year's edition, she likely would have been going for four-in-a-row.
Haas went 18:17 for the runaway victory to open up the season. That time is 36 seconds faster than her winning time from two years ago when she was a sophomore. It's a strong opener for the reigning PIAA Class AA state champion, who will be going for her second state title in November. Haas 4:54.83 for 1600m and 2:12.69 for 800m this past spring on the track.
Haas also recently announced her commitment to NC State University. Next year, she'll join one of the top programs in the country that includes a number of Pennsylvania high school alums like Marlee Starliper, Gionna Quarzo, and Savannah Shaw.
In the boys' race, Thomas Smigo of Palisades won a close one over Northwestern Lehigh's Samuel Bower. Smigo led the most of the race, but Bower stayed close by the entire time, making a play for the win in the last mile. Down the homestretch, it was a drag race, with Smigo, confident in his speed after splitting some quick 400m times this past spring, winning it at the end. Smigo wen 16:19, while Bower was right behind him at 16:20.
In the team race, the Northwestern Lehigh boys came out on top, with a convincing win. Led by Bower's second place finish, the Tigers put 49 points on the board to beat Nazareth Area by 28 points in the combined standings.
Watch the girls' varsity race above and check out an interview with Haas below.