Sophomore leading the way for Pine River runners

LEROY — Olivia Thompson had a strong freshman cross country season for Pine River and is showing impressive improvement as a sophomore.

“It was a fun race,” she said after a race  at Evart’s Spring Hill camp. “It was a really fun course. I really enjoyed it. It was shady. I felt good and was proud of my placing. I knew that wouldn’t be a good day for times because this course has some hills in it.”

It’s been a strong season for Thompson, who is usually Pine River’s No. 1 runner. She was No. 2 last season behind Cheyanna Rizor, who has graduated.

“I got third at McBain,” Thompson said of 2014. “My first time in a conference meet, I took 11th place.”

Thompson recalls starting out her freshman season strong.

“This year it’s taken me a little bit to get back into my flow of running,” she said. “I ran about 200 miles this summer.”

Thompson is looking to place in the top 20 at regionals and advance to the state final.

“It will take some harder training practices,” she said. “I have to get over the mental portions of running.”

Her first and second miles are the strongest parts of her race, Thompson indicated.

“My finish is something I always have to work on,” she said.

Pine River runs at Evart Tuesday in Highland Conference action.

“We’re looking pretty good as a team,” Thompson said. “We’re running good and we’re hitting times. I think we have a pretty solid team this year. We’re pretty young with freshmen and sophomores. There’s a couple of juniors.”