Pine River runner enjoys exceptional rookie season

LEROY — Olivia Thompson gave the Pine River girls cross country team plenty of production in only her freshman season.

It’s her first season of cross country.

“My dad (Jeremiah Thompson) was a really good runner and I really enjoy running,” Thompson said.

She has previously run track.

It’s been an enjoyable rookie season so far. Thompson indicated it took about two races to know her limits.

A 22:45 prior to the regional was her best time. That’s about a 2 1/2-minute-improvement from her first time.

“It came from (settling down on) nerves,” Thompson said, “and (stop) thinking that I couldn’t do as good as I did.”

Getting more confidence has made for a better overall race, she added. “I hope to get a 21:30.”

Cheyanna Rizor was the No. 1 runner for the Bucks, while Thompson was at No. 2.

“It’s kind of a surprise,” Thompson said of her rapid elevation in the Bucks’ lineup. Once she figured out the proper strategy of running a race, Thompson was clearly on her way.

Her mile has been her strength, Thompson indicated. Her “sprinting to the finish” needs some work, she said. But it’s coming.

The Bucks ended the season at regionals with Thompson running a 21:52 for 34th place.

“We’re looking pretty good,” Thompson said. “A couple of people need to push harder and put more time in...”