Boys cross-country shooting for number one; girls team rebuilding

The Trojans boys cross-country team will be pushing the envelope to make state this year.

They will be led this year by sophomore runner Bryce Odegard. Last year Odegard took fourth place at state in Division I-A and has made it his goal to carry the rest of the team there.

Trojans Coach Matt Kolodzieczyk said state is an obtainable goal.

“I think we can compete as a team this year with the boys,” he said. “I just think we have a great chance of getting them there with this bunch of boys.”

Along with sophomore Bryce Odegard the team will also have sophomore Layron Sonerholm, junior Dylan Montgomery and junior Stephen Thelaner, all proven runners.

Last year Sonerholm ran a 5,000-meter course around 19 minutes, Odegard was around 17 and Thelaner was around 21. Montgomery was around 23, along with sophomore runner Ulisses Perez.

“We have some good experienced runners coming back for the boys,” the coach said.

Kolodzieczyk said he should also have some inexperienced new runners coming in as freshmen that should spark the team.

The coach was pleased that Odegard was running with Chase Woods over the summer. Woods was the number one runner at state last year for Faith Lutheran and is the runner to beat this year in Division I-A.

“I appreciate that kind of sportsmanship,” he said. “I know running with him will help him, it’s a great thing.”

Kolodzieczyk feels that Odegard and Sonerholm have really been great assets to the team.

“Both of them have been working hard to recruit new members to the team,” Kolodzieczyk said. “This is why the boys team is doing so well.”

As far as the girls are concerned he said the interest in cross-country is just not there.

He mentioned only two female runners, Fenny Descuatan and Shiloa Gulden; both are seniors. Descuatan was running at 24 minutes on a 5,000-meter course and Gulden was running around 27 minutes.

Trojans Athletic Director Ed Kirkwood said he can only speculate why the girls are not coming out for cross-country.

“I really don’t know why the girls are not interested in cross-country,” he said. “In the past we had brothers and sisters who were in the program. It’s a tough sell and no one wants to run in the desert.”

He said many of the girls play soccer or volleyball in the fall.

“We just don’t have the tradition here at Pahrump like some schools,” Kirkwood said. “Also, if the middle school doesn’t have it then it is a problem at the high school.”

Kirkwood encourages girls to come out and see if they like it.