MHSAA - Lansing Catholic's Olivia Theis sets state record, leads team to first Division 2 title
Provided by MLive
By Tony Garcia [email protected]
BROOKLYN -- Olivia Theis lost out on a state title by less than one second last season.
It was .7 seconds to be exact, so this year, she made it where nobody else had a chance.
After cruising in her regional at Ovid-Elsie last week in 17:41, she decided to give it her all for the final race of her Lansing Catholic career.
The senior not only broke the Division 2 girls state record, but set the girls overall state record, finishing with a 16:52.1 to claim her first individual state championship.
Olivia Theis sets the girls cross country state record
Theis' time helped Lansing Catholic earn its first state title in school history. Lansing Catholic (77) beat out Grand Rapids Christian (145), Dewitt (197), Otsego (218) and Divine Child (241).
"It definitely feels really good because I didn't expect it," Theis said moments after the race, appearing as if she hadn't even broken a sweat. "As a freshman I had no idea how good I could be and I think my team has helped push me to be the best I can."
The previous Division 2 record was 17:20.4, set by Grand Rapids Christian's Julia Bos in 2012 and the previous state record was 16:54.8 set by Megan Goethals of Rochester in 2009.
Goethals later became a Foot Locker National Champion -- an event that helped Theis move from runner-up to state champion.
"Afterwards I was like darn it, I should have done more, so it motivated me to move on and do foot locker (nationals)," Theis said of her close loss last season. "I guess I was more motivated."
Lansing Catholic moved up to Division 2 this season after taking runner-up in Division 3 last season and was able to finish what it set out to do.
This took first, junior Lauren Cleary took third (17:43.7), Theis' younger sister Jaden, a sophomore, took fifth overall (18:18.7) and Grace Frost (19:15.2) and Rachel Reid (19:35.6) rounded out the team scoring.
Theis hasn't decided where she will be running next year -- she's debating between Michigan, Michigan State and Furman and will decide sometime in the coming months.
But that wasn't her concern on Saturday.
"I'm just happy because we've all worked so hard," Theis said. "And this is was always the goal."