Some runners have the “right stuff” and what it takes to be long distance runners. Trojans runner Bryce Odegard is one of those runners.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal selected state champion Odegard to the first team, all-state boys cross-country team for the second season in a row on Monday.
He was one of 24 Class 3A and 4A runners to be chosen for this honor.
The junior won state this year (15 minutes, 56 seconds) and he finished in first place eight times this year, including at the Southern Region meet. He is a three-sport athlete and also plays basketball and runs track.
Odegard is the only male to win a cross-country individual title in the history of the Pahrump Valley High School.
“It feels good,” Odegard said.
But the conversation quickly went to his teammates as he talked about how this year’s team worked hard to get to state this year.
He said it has been an awesome three years as the popularity of the cross-country team has just exploded for the boys in the past two years, mainly due to his efforts.
“We had just 10 guys my freshman year with barely enough for a team and we didn’t go to state that year and now we have gone the past two years,” Odegard said. “We had enough team members this season for two teams. This varsity group this season was more of an exclusive club this year.”
Odegard had to beat the bush for runners his freshman year to get guys out for cross-country.
“It’s been a team effort to get guys out for the team this year and I had little to with it this year,” he said.
Odegard said the hard work the guys put into the team this year was contagious. He said no one had to be constantly motivating them to work hard.
“My hard work and others working hard has had a positive effect on the team,” Odegard said. “The guys would basically see how hard everyone was working and would work harder themselves.”
He said sophomore Jacob Cipollini was a perfect example of this. He worked harder and secured a spot on the varsity team.
It would seem that Odegard has achieved all his goals this year so what is left for him to do as a senior? Does this mean he will take the year off with some of the other seniors on the team and just cruise through the year until he graduates?
Not even close.
There is still the business of winning the team state title.
“We haven’t gotten everything we wanted,” Odegard said strongly. “The guys want to win state next year and I don’t think there is anybody on the team that doesn’t feel that way.”
As a runner, Odegard has a tough summer training regimen and to win state this means the whole team will have to run hard during the summer for that’s how he won state. He had gone to cross-country camps and just ran all summer long. Does he think his teammates are up for training hard in the summer?
“Summer is a tough one,” he said. “We know as a team who we need on the team and we have a pretty good idea who will make the team. I am going to try to get the guys out to run during the summer. We have a tight bond (the team) and knowing what it will take to win state. It will be competitive.”
Also, knowing the fact that some junior varsity runners who want on that varsity team next year might motivate some of the runners to run over the summer.
Odegard has a younger brother, Grant Odegard, on the team and so getting to compete with his freshman brother made the year even more special.
“We are close,” Bryce Odegard said about their relationship. “I think playing together helps. We play basketball all the time together. We have a certain connection you get when you play with each other. I know him and understand how he plays.”
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes