Olivetathletics.com is counting down the Top 10 Olivet High School sports stories for 2016-17. Here is No. 8…
Shocking an opponent is one thing. But when a team manages to shock their own coach, well, that’s noteworthy.
Olivet High School boys’ track coach Brian Lincoln is not a pessimist by any means. If anything, he’s a motivator who uses positive reinforcement to get the most out of his student-athletes.
But Lincoln is also a realist, and, after studying rival Lakewood early in the season, the veteran coach was convinced that his team had little chance to win a Greater Lansing Activities Conference championship this spring.
“I thought Lakewood was the run-away favorite,” Lincoln admitted. “Then, after seeing them at their invite, I thought there was no way could we beat them. However, our kids continued to get better and better.”
The Eagles improved so much from the start of the campaign that they finished the GLAC dual season with a perfect 6-0 mark, which included a 75-62 upset victory over Lakewood on May 11. Thirteen days later at the GLAC Championships, Olivet pushed Lakewood to the brink before settling for second place – which meant both teams would share the overall conference title.
The co-championship was the Eagles’ second since the GLAC was formed three years ago. Olivet also shared the crown with Perry in 2014-15.
“Our depth made us strong in duals,” Lincoln said. “We were strong and deep in most events, so we were able to gain points everywhere against teams one-on-one.
Olivet’s top performer this spring may have been junior Colin Grady, who won three individual events – 100 dash, 200 dash and long jump – at the league meet. He also placed first in the 200 meters at the regional meet and eighth in the same event at the MHSAA Division 2 Finals June 3 in Zeeland.
The Eagles’ only other first-place finish at the GLAC Championships came from the 3200 relay of Joel Fudge, Colin McDowell, Zach Griffith and Isaac Waffle.