October 30, 2020

Jeff Evans
Western Washington University
(360) 650-6800

Former Western Washington University All-American Courtney Olsen Turns Pro

Former Western Washington University All-American and Bellingham native Courtney Olsen has announced that she is turning pro. The former Viking distance runner All-American will be turning pro with sponsorship from shoe company HOKA ONE ONE.

Former Wwu All American Courtney Olsen Turns Pro

A steeplechase and 1,500m specialist, and a two-time competitor at NCAA II Cross Country nationals, Olsen competed for the Vikings from 2007-2010 after transferring to Western from Concordia (OR). Olsen prepped at Squalicum High School and is still a Bellingham native working in Imaging as a Film Librarian at Peacehealth St. Joseph’s Hospital.

While Olsen had a standout collegiate career that included setting program records in the 1,500 (4:32.34) and 3,000m Steeplechase (10:35.32), with both marks remaining in the WWU top five. She won the 3,000m Steeplechase at the 2010 GNAC Outdoor Championships and placed 9th at the NCAA II National Championships. She earned USTFCCCA All-America honors during the 2009 indoor season running the leadoff leg of the distance medley relay that placed 7th.

Following her collegiate career, Olsen helped create and is the president of the Bellingham Distance Project and trained at longer distances. She qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials that was held February 29 in Atlanta, finishing 54th in a time of 2:41.36. She was also the top American finisher and placed 5th overall at the 2019 50K World Championships in Romania, turning in a time of third-fastest US time in 3:19:23. She also qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Courtney enjoys competing at a wide range of distances, including the 1500 to the 50k. She spent a few years in Boulder, CO, and upon moving back ran her first marathon off of 30 mpw, qualifying for the 2014 Boston Marathon. She has since earned a 2020 Olympic Trials A-standard in the marathon, and has represented the US in the 50K at the IAU 50K World Championships in 2019, taking top American, 5th OA, and securing the 3rd fastest US 50K time ever run in her debut.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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