Pahrump Valley boys track wins big at Western

All signs point to this being a banner season for the Pahrump Valley boys track team, and nothing that happened March 13 at Western High School in Las Vegas suggested the optimism is misplaced.

The Trojans swept the top three places in seven events to capture the team title with 93 points, easily outpacing the host school’s 41 points.

Pahrump Valley’s strength in the distances was obvious.

“That’s really the meat of our lineup,” Trojans coach Fred Schmidt said. “Coach (Craig) Rieger sets a great tone for our distance and mid-distances.”

Senior Bryce Odegard owns the state’s best Class 3A times in the 1,600 (4 minutes, 31 seconds) and 3,200 (10:19). Yet, his performance in the 1,600 is only part of the story in the event.

“It was a clean sweep for Pahrump, one through six, in the 1,600,” Schmidt said. “And yes, there were 16 other competitors in the race.”

Layron Sonerholm’s second-place 4:45 is the second fastest time in Class 3A, and younger brother Michael’s 5:04 placed third and is also among the top five Class 3A times. Jacob Cipollini’s 5:06 was good for fourth, Cole Goodman placed fifth in 5:25, and Brandon Ruud took sixth in 5:27.

Odegard, Michael Sonerholm (12:04) and Grant Odegard (12:07) took the top three places in the 3,200, with all times among the top 10 this year in Class 3A.

Both Sonerholms qualified for regionals in the 800 as well, with Layron finishing second in 2:07 and Michael taking fifth in 2:15.

The 100 was another strong race for Pahrump Valley, as Antonio Fortin, Casey Flennory and DeAngelo Brown tied for second in 11.9.

“We had a rougher time in the 200 meters,” Schmidt said. “The closest we got to the front was a seventh-place finish from Braylon Durazo. And the 400 meters is a work in progress. Three freshmen (Durazo, Cameron Gabrylczcyk and Dylan Wright) are posturing themselves to take over that event in the near future.”

Schmidt also expects points to come from the hurdles. Kaden Hastings won both hurdle events at Western, taking the 110 in 19.2 and the 300 in 49.5. Christopher Geer placed second in the 300 (50.4), while Cameron Ellis took third in the 300 (51.4) and fourth in the 110 (21.5).

“Our relays are positioned in the upper middle of the pack in the state,” Schmidt said. “They will be making noise at the right time in the season as well.”

The 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 teams each placed second at Western, with David Roundy, Frank Evenson, Fortin and Flennory running the former in 47.6 and Roundy, Jacob Sawin, Fortin and Flennory finishing the latter in 1:39.8.

“In the field events, our athletes are picking up right where they left it last year at state,” Schmidt said. “There were nine qualifying distances and heights recorded from the boys in the long jump, triple jump and high jump.”

The Trojans dominated those events, taking the top five places in the long jump, the top three in the high jump and the top two in the triple jump.

Ethan Whittle was strong in all of them, as he won the triple jump (38-3) and finished second in the high jump (6-0) and long jump (17-9).

Chance Farnsworth won the high jump at 6-0, while Sawin took the long jump (17-11) and placed second in the triple jump (37-6). Fortin continued his strong day by taking third in the long jump (17-9).

The same dominance was evident in the discus. Jeremy Albertson easily won the event with a throw of 146-4. Morgan White took second with 123-0 while Brandon Bunker finished third for the Trojans with his 99-10.

The results were less of a surprise than an affirmation that last year’s region championship was just the start for Pahrump Valley’s boys track program.

”We are expecting great things from these young men,” Schmidt said.

“It is quite comforting to know they are equal to the task and embracing the challenge.”

Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at On Twitter:@pvtimes

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