Southmoore's Olivia Thompson – Spotlight Athlete sponsored by Christian Brothers Automotive

Christian Brothers

Written by John Tranchina

Shanon Atkinson knew that Olivia Thompson was special when he first met her in seventh grade.

The Southmoore cross country coach knew he had a future star on his hands, and now that she is finally on his team as a highly-touted freshman, she is fulfilling that promise already.

“I started working with Olivia when she was in seventh grade, so I’ve had a chance to see her develop over time,” Atkinson said. “I remember, she was in seventh grade and we were out doing a mileage run, and I was on my bike, and I pulled up alongside of her and she started to speed up and started to clip off at a pace that was (fast). I was like, ‘This kid is something special.’ I remember telling the coaches, ‘We got a good one here.’ We had to wait two years, but she’s finally here.”

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Thompson used to play softball, but gave that up in sixth grade when she discovered how much she enjoyed running.

“I just found cross country and I’ve loved it ever since,” she said. “It kind of relieves stress, I guess. You just kind of do your own thing when you’re on the course, you don’t really think about anything else. It’s just a really cool thing. You have like a family with the team, and you meet a lot of other people, so it’s just fun.”

She also makes sure she stays on top of her schoolwork, because she has a goal for the future.

“It’s really important to me because I really want to get a scholarship,” Thompson said. “So I want to keep up my grades, and it all looks good. My grades affect my running, so it all counts.”