AZ Salute to Seniors | Mia Olsen

Name: Mia Olsen
School: Xavier College Preparatory

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: I've mostly been running on my own or with my teammate Jamie Stelnik and doing basically the same mileage as normal. I've started to head into my college running schedule and have been working with both Coach Van and my coach at SMU for my summer training.

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: Online school keeps me pretty busy! It's been nice to hang out with my family more too and to catch up on all my Netflix shows. I've also been face timing my friends and walking my dog a lot.

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: My most memorable race was the 3200m at Arcadia 2019. At the 200 meter mark of the first lap, I tripped and fell but immediately got back up. Arcadia has always been my favorite meet because it's such a great atmosphere and my team was so supportive in cheering me on. I was still able to run a PR in that race and today we all laugh at the video of me falling! It wasn't super fun at the moment, but that race definitely taught me a lot about being patient during races, especially the 32.

2019 AIA Division 1 Girls 3200 State Meet - Mia 5th place and a PR!

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: The funniest thing throughout my running career has probably been the fact that my carpool from practice stops at AJ's for iced tea almost every day, no matter how much time we have to get ready for school. There have been some close calls over the years but it's all worth it for iced tea!!

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: My biggest competition has probably been my teammate, Jamie Stelnik. We train together all the time and are super close friends, but we also push each other in workouts and races. It's been really nice having someone who trains at the same level as me the past three years so we could both get better together.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: My greatest accomplishment was state cross country 2019. I had been dealing with injuries for most of the season and was running on an AlterG treadmill several days a week, so I wasn't sure how well I would do at state. My goal was to place close to how I had run junior year (fifth), and I was able to take sixth, which I was really proud of! Winning state in 2018 as a team was also a highlight!!

AIA Division I Girls State Meet - Mia placed 6th.

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: If I could do it all over again, I think I would try to spend more time doing the little things that help with running, such as core work and foam rolling. I think I also would work on staying positive during races because running has a huge mental aspect that people often don't think of.

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: The most difficult obstacles I had to overcome were injuries. During most of junior year track season and senior cross country season, I had tendonitis in my knee that kept me from training normally. I would either have to back off the intensity of my training or run on the AlterG to keep it from getting worse. These experiences definitely taught me the importance of recovery.

2019 Division I Section 1 Girls XC Sectionals at Cesar Chavez - Mia took 2nd overall.

Q: What will you miss the most?
A: I think I will miss being a part of this team the most. Running here has been one of the highlights of my high school experience. My teammates are some of my favorite people and I will treasure the memories I've made here forever! I will especially miss our summer training camps and, of course, Coach Van (who is celebrating 30 years of coaching at Xavier this season!!).

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