MUNSTER | Olivia Askew's last name precedes her at most region tracks. The Munster senior has a lot to live up to.
"It's kind of a lot of pressure because people know me," Askew said. "People expect me to do well, but that's a good thing. I take it as a compliment."
Her father, Willie, was once an Olympic hopeful who raced and trained along side names like Carl Lewis and Florence Griffith Joyner. He won a state championship in the 400 meter dash in 1987 at E.C. Central.
He's a member of the East Chicago Sports Hall of Fame.
Willie was named All-Missouri Valley Conference after winning the 400 for Southwest Missouri State in 1991. Now an East Chicago gang and narcotics police officer, he won gold in the 400 at the 2001 World Police and Fire Games. He's currently training to repeat that feat in 2015.
"I never pushed any of my kids into a sporting event. I never wanted them to think they had to kind of follow in my footsteps," Willie said. "It was just a knack they had and they enjoyed it."
Olivia's older sister Shakyla is one of the most successful sprinters in Munster's recent history. She was a state qualifier in the 400 in 2011 before going on to run for Vincennes University.
"We always kind of dreamed of equaling or even passing my dad's success, but I'm so proud of my sister," Shakyla said. "I feel bad for her because there's so much pressure on her, but I love seeing her win and I want to see her go to state this year."
"I know her potential, even if she can't see it right now, I know her potential so I have to push her."
The sisters spent one season running together at Munster and were both part of the 1,600 Relay team.
"It was so fun. I always wished I was older so I could've spent more time on the same team with her," Olivia said. "We'd go to the line and it'd be like 'Well, there's two of them now.'"
The family runs together. They often talk technique during meals or in the car. There have been a lot of races to the end of the block, to the tree or light post or just downstairs for dinner.
Running is the Askews' thing.
"Every time you hear 'Askew,' you think of track and field, running, but I just want them to come out and have fun," Willie said. "If they can win and have fun at the same time, that's just a double plus."
Shakyla still owns the Mustangs record in the 200 at 25.76. But little sister isn't far behind, ranking second in school history at 26.15.
"If somebody would've told me that I would come back 20 years later and my records would still stand and I'd be seeing my daughter's records right along side, I'd be like 'Get out of here,'" Willie said.
Olivia hopes to top her sister, enter those record books and become the third Askew to run for a state title in June before running for Calumet College in the fall.
"If I beat that record, I'll feel on top of the world," Olivia said. "I would love to qualify for state."