A typical high school athlete is usually far from polished before reaching the varsity ranks.
Olivia Duner, on the other hand, was great from Day 1.
Then again, she’s not your typical high school athlete.
“Olivia is everything you would ask for in an athlete. She has the academics, she’s an amazing leader, and she pushes herself every single moment of every single practice,” said Truckee girls soccer coach Katie Jamison.
For those qualities and many more, Duner is the Sierra Sun’s Female Athlete of the Year from Truckee High School.
“She’s just a great athlete,” said Truckee girls basketball coach Geoff Stephens, “and she always gave it her all.”
Duner will be missed both on the soccer field and basketball court.
The standout two-sport athlete was a key member of the Wolverines’ soccer team all four years, capping her stellar career with the Sierra League’s midfield MVP award her senior season. Jamison wishes she had another four years of eligibility.
“She was absolutely a complete joy to coach,” Jamison said of her co-team captain. “She was one of those players you could trust to leave the team with. We often did a captains’ practice, where the captains would run the practice and work on team camaraderie, and every time I left her in charge it was magical. She really did a great job with the kids.”
Aside from her role as a team leader, Duner could flat out play. Competitive and scrappy, she boasted a solid all-around game complemented by speed, intelligence, vision and, of course, skill. She could do it all from her center midfield position.
“She pretty much ran the field. She worked with our forwards directly, and she worked with our defenders to make sure we were protected in the back end of the field,” said Jamison, adding that one of Duner’s main strengths was her endurance. “She would play a full 90 minutes and not want to come off the field.”
Duner posted 11 goals and dished out nine assists in 20 games her senior year.
Her competitive spirit transferred well to the basketball court, where Duner helped lead the Wolverines as an aggressive-minded guard — shooting or point. She could score with outside touch or on the drive, and she was also a pesky defender, with quick hands and a knack for the ball.
“She was a great defender,” Stephens said. “She wanted to be in the mix of everything. If there was a loose ball, you knew she was around.”
Duner was voted to the All-League first team.
“She was a very dedicated athlete. She showed up prepared every day,” Stephens said.