Although the Green and White did not fare very well in East Lansing on Saturday, it was an entirely different story at Ella Sharp Park in Jackson.
The Olivet High School cross country teams represented their colors proudly at the MHSAA Division 3 Regional Meet and, in the process, qualified for next weekend’s state meet at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
The Olivet girls’ squad placed first on Saturday, claiming its first regional championship since 1990 – the same year that the Lady Eagles won the Class C state title. Olivet totaled 35 position points, 23 better than runner-up Jackson Lumen Christi.
As for the boys, they placed second in the 14-team field with 103 points, far off the pace set by champion Hanover Horton but good enough to qualify for their first state meet in 28 years.
This is the first time in school history that both the boys’ and girls’ teams have qualified for the state finals in the same season. The Lady Eagles reached the state meet in 2015 after finishing 3rd in the Jackson regional.
“I could not be more proud of my athletes,” Olivet coach Mike Spoelstra said. “They have had this goal in mind from the beginning of the season, actually since the end of last season. They believed in themselves, believed in their team, believed they could do it, and then went out and did it. Awesome, awesome, awesome!”
Scoring for the Olivet girls were Autumn Wietzke, 4th in 20:56; Morgan Greenman, 6th in 21:05; Teona Feldpausch, 7th in 21:16; Miranda Barnes, 10th in 21:30; and Kaylee Richardson, 14th in 21:54. Hazel Anderson finished 16th in 21:57, while Kelsie Letts was 51st in 24:48.
Leading the boys’ attack were Isaac Waffle, 3rd in 17:25; Sam Smith, 17th in 18:19; Colton Graves, 18th in 18:19; Joel Fudge, 27th in 18:50; and Devin Feldpausch, 38th in 19:21. Colin McDowell was 42nd in 19:28 and Nate Zona 64th in 20:16 to round out the local runners.
All four MHSAA divisions will compete at MIS on Saturday, November 5. The Division 3 boys’ race starts at 10:30 AM, while the Division 3 girls’ event begins around 11:30 AM. Spectator admission is $8 per person.