All year long the Trojans knew going into the regionals that they had to beat the top team from the Sunrise League, which was SECTA. They had done this at invitationals during the year but it was always close and so going into the regional competition they knew it was not a sure thing. Pahrump edged out SECTA by just one point.
The Trojans boys cross-country team finished in third place at the Southern Nevada Regional Cross-Country meet and will be going to the state meet on Nov. 7 at Rancho San Rafael (Washoe County) Regional Park in Reno.
Clark High School was first (51 points), Faith Lutheran second (74 points) and Pahrump Valley (112) finished third, beating out SECTA (113) by one point for the last seed.
Chase Woods (Faith Lutheran) finished first, Bryce Odegard (Pahrump Valley) finished second, Yoseph Shiferaw (Clark) finished third, Tyler Campbell (Boulder City) finished fourth, Rylan Banegas (Cheyenne) finished fourth and Layron Sonerholm (Pahrump Valley) finished sixth.
For the Trojans, the top five finishers were Bryce Odegard in second place (17 minutes and 49 seconds), Layron Sonerholm in sixth place (18:18), Sergio Sanchez-Rincon in 19th (19:05), Cole Goodman 34th (19:45) and Stephen Thelaner in 51st (20:27).
Pahrump’s third place showing means that only Sunset League teams will represent the Southern Region at state.
Despite being a well-organized event, there was still some confusion as to who the winners were.
According to Bryce Odegard, top runner for the Trojans, there was a delayed celebration after the meet on Friday morning.
“It was just crazy because they mis-scored the whole thing, Odegard said, “We thought we lost to SECTA because the officials didn’t get the scoring right and so at first we were all disappointed for about a half an hour. Finally someone went up to the officials and pointed out to them that some guys running as individuals didn’t get counted in the team points.”
He said there were a lot of emotions that followed.
Despite capturing second place, Odegard said he thought he didn’t run a good race.
“I stuck with Chase (Woods) for a mile (Woods led the whole way). My legs just kind of gave out and I wasn’t very mentally strong. I found myself having to race with the three and four guys. That was tough, when you know your personal best is a minute ahead of these guys.”
Even though his legs were giving out by the end, Odegard dug deep to make sure he finished second.
“Something happens and you find yourself racing for the number two spot,” he said. “I never really used the third and fourth place runners,” he said. “I was basically running alone, but I could hear them coming and my dad let me know they were there in the last 800 meters of the race. I got mentally stronger at that point.”
In order for the Trojans to finish in the top three and make state, the entire team (five runners are counted) knew it had to be a team effort and not just Odegard running.
Runner Cole Goodman finished fourth in the race and he knew he had to have a strong race.
“Obviously I had no idea how good we were doing during the race,” Goodman said. “I just knew that I had to pass as many runners as I could to help our team beat SECTA.”
Goodman is a sophomore just like Odegard and didn’t just show up for practice to become the fourth best runner on the team. He said it took a lot of work.
“I worked really hard in the offseason and ran hard during the summer with the team,” Goodman said. “To win at state we need to execute and just run hard.”
Stephen Thelaner was the fifth man to cross the line.
“My goal was to keep up with Cole (Goodman) and beat him, while at the same time beating as many SECTA guys,” Thelaner said. “I got a chance to slow down the fourth guy by just slowing down in front of them (SECTA) and at the last 300 meters I was sprinting as fast as I could and I passed two guys and that made the difference.”
The last time the Trojans went to state as a team is uncertain. In 1998 Jason Odegard was the coach for the boys and they sent one runner, not the team. This may be the first time for the Trojans as a team.
-contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com