Bismarck High’s Isaiah Olsen has probably had the least amount of time to prepare for the biggest meet of the year. Doctors just cleared him a month ago.
“He had a similar case,” Isaiah Olsen said, “and he has trouble walking at 40 years old.”
Ten months ago, Isaiah Olsen had to decide between running track now and walking in the future. Then a freshman, he thought he would never play sports again.
“Right away I didn’t,” Olsen said. “I didn’t think that I would be able to. After awhile, I realized that I couldn’t just give up.”
Isaiah didn’t give up, but may have seemed like he did. The rehab process for two stress fractures in his back was 10 months of rest.
“[Doctors] said they couldn’t do anything since it was so close to the spinal cord,” Olsen said.
After a couple of months, Isaiah was able to do light activity.
“I can do everything as long as it doesn’t hurt,” Olsen said. “So I kind of just had to measure myself. It wasn’t a guideline. I kind of had to just think of it myself.”
Dealing with this back injury, was also a new experience for Bismarck High track coach Darrell Anderson.
“It is a process to get back into,” Anderson said, “but he’s a confident kid. I think that’s best thing he’s got going for him.”
With only two weeks before the Class A West region track meet, doctors cleared Isaiah to run. And not only did he run, but was able to make a qualifying mark. Now, he eyes the state meet.
“I’m hoping to place in the [400m dash],” Olsen said. “Help out my team in the relays and just do the best I can.”
Isaiah placed second in his 400m dash preliminary heat. to advance to the final. His 50.81 time was the sixth fastest overall.