Classroom Champions: Belton's Olivia Houlden

It's better to be sharp than out of tune. That's a motto most, if not all, musicians have heard at least once. Belton senior Olivia Houlden is very sharp -- evident by her top five percent class rank. A former piano player, ironically it's the violin that is the key to her musical happiness.

"I really hated piano. I really didn't like it. So I was like, 'Mom, what about the violin? The violin looks so cool and I promise I'll practice it more than the piano,'" said Houlden. "She finally agreed, so I started taking lessons at Temple College. I fell in love with it and I practice every single day."

The state qualifier in cross country plans on attending George Washington University in the nation's capital. Along with running, her classroom focus will be on International Studies.

"My mom was not okay with it. She was like, you're not going that far. She thought that it was a joke so I e-mailed the coach and said, 'Hey, I'm really interested.' She wrote back and asked me if I could come back for an official visit," said Houlden. "So I was like, 'Mom I have to go now.' We went and I fell in love with it and she's like, 'Great, I guess I can't stop you.'"

While the 21-hour drive from Belton to D.C. may not be music to her parents' ears, they'll probably still string together a few visits. Tyler Bouldin, News 10 Sports.