Olivia Steiner to run at Tufts University

Patience is not only a virtue, but a quality proved fortuitous for Olivia Steiner.

An All-State runner and long jumper for the Jonathan Law girls track team, Steiner had actively applied to four schools only to be wait-listed. Rather than settle quickly, Steiner called out Father Time.

“Tufts University was my high-reach school,” Steiner said. “It was on the last day, March 31, that I received an acceptance letter and it was from Tufts. It was the craziest thing ever.”

Tufts is a member of the Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Head Coach Kristen Morwick’s Jumbos placed sixth in the NESCAC championships.

Steiner helped coach Joe Beler’s Lady Lawmen win their third consecutive Hammonasset Division outdoor track title and place fourth in the Southern Connecticut Conference in both the indoor and outdoor season.

“Tufts is a great fit for Olivia,” Beler said. “She is an outstanding student (JLHS Honor Society, Science Club, SCC Scholar Athlete). Tufts has a fantastic and highly-regarded science biology program. They have a great coach and great facilities. When she gets there she will take off.”

Indeed, Steiner was drawn to Tufts on the academic side where the Jumbos placed a league-best 133 athletes on the NESCAC All-Academic team this past spring.

“I’m going into biochemistry,” she said of heading to Medford (Mass.). “Specifically, I want to get into research for oncology and genetics. I took every science class available at Law.”

Steiner qualified and competed at New England Championships in Boston and in the Nationals as well.

“Going to New England Nationals was honestly a dream and one of my best high school memories,” said Steiner, who thanked her mom Liza and dad Randy for all their support. “It was something you joke about as a freshman.”

Steiner tested the water in other sports, playing volleyball as a freshman at Law, but then gave her full attention to track.

“I loved the fact that you had the best of both, of being a teammate and getting to challenge yourself,” Steiner said about track. “The best part of Law track is that every athlete is motivated to get better. Coach Beler is a great person and a great coach. You have fun while competing, but still look to win.”

She is going to miss high school, but is taking a lot with her.

“We all became the best of friends,” she said. “Kiki Smith (a fellow All-Stater headed to Southern Connecticut State University) especially. We were in the same events and that became a friendly competition. We would push each other.”

Beler agreed.

“As a duo, they are one of the best one two punches in the state,” he said. “They were always together and their friendship help push the other. As a program you are fortunate to get one of them, but to get two athletes at this level at the same time is once in a coaching lifetime.

“Their energy and excitement they brought to the program will never be matched. The team finished in third place last year and fourth this year at the Class MM championships.”

What is Steiner most looking forward to come college?

“I’m most excited about the indoor track season,” she said with a laugh. “No more wearing three pairs of pants and running in the snow outside the school to get ready.”