Olivia Arizin did not call a news conference Sunday night to reveal her decision to attend Georgetown University next year.
Instead, the Daily Times 2015 Runner of the Year in cross country and two-time All-Delco in both track and cross country made her announcement in front of a select group of family and friends at her home in Media.
Arizin’s initial plan was to have a cake with the logo of her school of choice on it, which she would unveil at the appropriate moment. However, she chose to go a different way to announce her college choice.
Arizin wore a sweatshirt from each of the five schools she visited: Georgetown, Villanova, Oregon, North Carolina and Notre Dame. The plan was to remove the sweatshirts one-by-one until she got to her final choice.
The unveiling did not go quite the way Arizin planned.
“I started taking off one sweatshirt and the one underneath would come off, too,” Arizin said.
Arizin, the county record holder and defending PIAA Class 3A champion in the 800-meter run, also did not take weather into account.
“I was sweating,” Arizin said.
While her choice was a difficult one, Arizin said, she used a simple approach to finalize her decision.
“It came down to where I felt most at home,” Arizin said. “Right after my Georgetown visit (in September) I just had a feeling that was where I wanted to be. It just felt like home so I just followed my gut. It was hard because I could see myself at every school, but I’m very happy and I felt the most at home at Georgetown.”
A lot of people thought Arizin was a lock for Villanova. Her late grandfather, Paul Arizin, is one of the greatest players in Villanova history, and a member of both the Naismith and College Basketball Halls of Fame. Paul Arizin likeness adorns a prominent spot on the second floor of the Pavilion.
Her father, Chris, received a masters’ degree from Villanova. But Arizin said she never felt pressure to continue the family legacy.
“My family was very supportive,” Arizin said. “They were good with anywhere I felt comfortable, whether it was across the country at Oregon or whether it was Villanova a couple of miles away. And when I told them what I felt about Georgetown they were all very happy.”
Arizin’s announcement came one day after helping O’Hara win the PIAA Class 3A girls cross country title in Hershey. She finished 13th to earn her third straight state medal. Arizin said she finalized her decision last week and informed her parents, Chris and Joanne, but purposely waited until after states to go public.
“I really wanted to focus on the state meet and I was planning to have people over Sunday,” Arizin said. “I thought it would be fun to surprise my family members so it was something to look forward to. And I really did want all the people who are close to me to be there with me when I told them so it worked out perfectly.”