Olivetathletics.com is counting down the Top 10 Olivet High School sports stories for 2016-17. Here is No. 6…
When the Olivet High School boys’ cross country team finished second in an MHSAA Division 3 regional meet on October 29, it marked the first time in 28 years that the program had qualified for the state finals.
“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!”
The Eagles’ regional effort featured 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.
A week later at the MHSAA Division 3 Finals at Michigan International Speedway, Waffle placed 36th (17:00) out of 242 runners to lead Olivet. He was the sixth fastest sophomore in the race.
The Eagles’ 2016 season also included a runner-up finish in the Greater Lansing Activities Conference behind state-power Stockbridge. In comparison, Olivet placed sixth in the GLAC standings in 2015 and simply was not very competitive.
Spoelstra, whose OHS girls’ team won the GLAC championship in the fall, felt the boys’ accomplishments were equally as impressive. “We got a lot of help from some new recruits, veterans stepping up, and having the right captains leading the way,” he explained.
In the league meet, Waffle placed fifth in 16:36 – resulting in his second All-GLAC first-team award in as many seasons. Other Eagle scorers were Smith, 15th in 17:56; Graves, 16th in 17:57; Fudge, 23rd in 18:28; and Feldpausch, 25th 18:44.