South Orange native and Columbia High School Class of 2014 track & field star Olivia Baker is competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic women’s 800 relay team by running the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon beginning June 24.
If Baker qualifies, she’ll head to Tokyo with her teammates. The summer Olympics, delayed by a year due to the global pandemic, are set to begin July 23, 2021.
While at CHS, Baker earned six individual outdoor Meet of Champions titles and a state track and field record 11 Meet of Champions individual titles between indoor and outdoors combined (now tied by Union Catholic’s Sydney McLaughlin, who went on to compete for the U.S. at the Rio Olympics in 2016).
Baker split of 2:02.55 at the Penn Relays helped CHS to a 8:45.37 finish in 2014 that broke the state record and, and as of 2019, stood as the No. 2 mark in U.S. history, as reported the Star-Ledger. At Stanford University, Baker earned All-American status 11 times.
In 2016, Baker missed the cutoff in the qualifying round for the Rio Olympics. Baker finished in fourth place in her 800-meter semifinal heat with a time of 2:01.87. The top three finishers in each of the two semifinal heats, plus the next two fastest times overall, advanced to the final. Baker was 10th overall, missing the final by two spots.
Thursday (June 24)
7 p.m. EDT– Women’s 800 first round
Friday (June 25)
3:02 p.m. – Women’s 800 semifinals
Sunday (June 27)
7:52 p.m. – Women’s 800 final
More on Olivia Baker:
- CHS Class of ’14 Olivia Baker to Represent Team USA at World Relays in Japan, April 30, 2019
- Columbia High Grad Olivia Baker Will Look Forward to 2020 Olympics, July 25, 2016
- CHS ’14 Grad Olivia Baker Qualifies for Olympic Trials, May 3, 2016
- CHS Grad Olivia Baker Strikes Gold at Pan-Am Games, August 3, 2015
- Track Coach Lauds Baker, Teammates for Academic Success, June 26, 2014