AGWSR's Ollivierre part of Cadet state-qualifying duo

Nakia Ollivierre, a freshman at AGWSR, is one of two state qualifiers from the Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR girls cross country team running Saturday at Fort Dodge. (Corey Meints/Times-Citizen Communications photo)
Jake Ryder
The Grundy Register

PELLA – Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR girls cross country will have two individual representatives at Saturday’s Class 3A state cross country meet, with Nakia Ollivierre and Teah Miller finishing in the top 15 at Pella Sports Park in a 3A qualifier on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Ollivierre, an AGWSR freshman, finished third overall in 19:09. Miller, a senior at IF-A, will be making her third state appearance after finishing ninth at the meet in 19:44.

“It’s a blessing and a great start to my freshman career,” Ollivierre said.

The Cadet girls were 10 points short of qualifying as a team, finishing with 106 points. Carlisle took the third and final spot with 96 points, joining Pella (49) and Ballard (53) as team qualifiers.

Ollivierre picked up cross country this fall, looking to stay in shape for basketball season, where she has garnered attention as a young prospect to watch. She also already had running experience from track season, where she won the 800 and 1,500-meter races in the 8th-grade small-school division at the Mike Henderson State Middle School Track and Field Meet.

“I work hard in everything I am a part of,” Ollivierre said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect [with cross country]. This sport requires an individual to be mentally tough and won’t accept anything less.”

It was a course Ollivierre and the Cadets hadn’t competed on this season.

“We knew that we were racing against home-course advantage and a few team packs,” Ollivierre said. “My strategy going in was just to get a feel for the competition.”

Ultimately, she met her goal of finishing in the top three overall to advance on. While the team fell short of qualifying for state, battling illness and injury, they’ve been an important step in Ollivierre’s growth as a cross country runner.

“They’re all warriors,” Ollivierre said. “We have really come together for one common goal and our steady rise in rankings throughout the season was a reflection of how close we all got, how badly we wanted to win.”

From the first meet of the season, winning at Maynes Grove, Ollivierre has emerged as one of the top runners in Class 3A as a freshman. She is currently rated sixth in 3A - top-ranked Paityn Noe of Ballard ran away with the win in Pella last Wednesday and Pella’s Marissa Ferebee, also a freshman, was 17 seconds faster than Ollivierre on Wednesday.

“I love the progress,” Ollivierre said. “Becoming an avid runner has conditioned me physically and mentally and really showed me what I can accomplish with work.”

Ollivierre thinks of having Miller by her side when they’re warming up for the race at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 as a big advantage for her first state cross country appearance.

“She is a strong definition of what leadership is,” Ollivierre said. “She has embraced me, given out guidance and set a great example of what is needed to do well in this sport.”

Though she is excited to show what she can do on the hardwood this season with the Cougars, she’s not letting the foot off the gas for Fort Dodge.

“I want to improve my times, represent my community, and medal in the top five,” Ollivierre said.

IF-A/AGWSR girls (4th, 106 points)–3. Nakia Ollivierre 19:09; 9. Teah Miller 19:44; 20. Abby Harding 21:02; 31. Demi Beaubien 21:40; 43. Elizabeth Kielty 22:20; 57. Annika Nelson 23:09; 64. Caitlyn Archer 23:54.

IF-A/AGWSR boys (12th, 354 points)–33. Jase Beaubien 17:53; 68. Hunter Miller 19:18; 82. Martin Beisel 20:50; 85. Aaron Blackburn 22:10; 86. Wilken Kube 22:17; 89. Eric Wennes 23:09.


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