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Emery helping to lead Catasauqua track team

Four years ago, Olivia Emery didn’t see track in the picture.

Emery had been involved in basketball and soccer in her youth, and envisioned playing both of them in high school. So was her older sister, Maddie.

The elder Emery took the initiative to influence her younger sister to join the Rough Riders’ track team, a sport in which she excelled.

Now, three years later, the younger Emery is taking the nod from her older sibling and has become an integral part of the Roughies’ program.

“I got started in track when I was a freshman,” she said. “My sister was a senior, and she influenced me to try out. She knew I would love it.”

Emery participates in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, and the triple jump. Her personal bests this year are 22.02 (100 hurdles), 1:02.34 (300 hurdles) and 21-11.5 (triple jump).

The hurdles always haven’t been an easy task.

“It was definitely intimidating at first,” she recalled. “But everything comes with one getting through the mental aspect of it as well. There was a mental block to overcome.

“The guidance and support of my teammates and coaches definitely helped a tremendous amount.”

The adjustment was a quick one.

“I think I peaked during my sophomore year,” added Emery. “I think it all came together for me. Not getting to compete my junior year definitely was a factor. It was a challenge to get back this year.”

Head coach Kyle Rusnock has watched Emery develop and mature over the years.

“Olivia (Emery) is an extremely vital and important part of our track team,” said Rusnock. “She is a leader and is willing to help the other athletes.

“She also is a great competitor in the hurdles and now the triple jump. As a coach, we are lucky to have her on our team.”

Emery is optimistic her best performances are still ahead.

“I think the season is going really well,” she said. “I believe I can still peak this season. Everyone’s times are improving meet by meet.”

Press file photo by Linda Rothrock Olivia Emery is one of the key members of the Catty track and field team this year.