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Pahrump Valley cross-country travels to surf city

Trojans cross-country teams traveled to Huntington Beach, California for the Central Park Invitational, which was the largest meet Pahrump had been to this year. The meet attracted 81 teams from all over California and Nevada.

“The meet was large but it was very organized,” Trojans coach Matt Kolodzieczyk said. “They had it broken down into large schools and small schools. The meet even had vendors there and a DJ.”

The coach had heard about this invite from other Las Vegas schools. There were several other Las Vegas teams there.

For those not familiar with Huntington Beach, Central Park is a large park located within a mile of the coast.

Kolodzieczyk believed his team did a good job running.

“We did well given the fact that we never had run there before,” he said.

The coach pointed out it is hard to run on courses when you are not familiar with them.

“It was a three-mile course and there were roots on the course that tripped up runners and there were some hills,” the coach said. “The Southern California runners were pretty fast.”

Case in point, the fastest boys’ time for the course was run by Elias Opsahl of Redlands East Valley, (15 minutes and 4.71 seconds) and the fastest girls’ time was run by Shaylynn Wyn of San Dimas (18:40.60).

In their 17-team grouping, Pahrump finished seventh (227 points) and Opsahl was in that group. Foothill Technology finished in first (73), El Segundo was second (76) and Redlands East Valley was third (99).

The fastest runner for the Trojans was Bryce Odegard, finishing sixth out of 124 runners (16:10). Layron Sonerholm was the next runner from Pahrump at 51st place (17:53.06), Grant Odegard was next at 55th place (18:03.29) followed by Michael Sonerholm (18:20.35) and then Jacob Cipollini in 78th place (18:44).

The coach said Layron is doing well in getting back into shape after his ankle sprain that kept him out of a couple of meets.

“Grant Odegard also had a great day,” the coach said. “It was good to see different competition. The kids were not familiar at all with these runners and so I told them to get out quick and settle in and most importantly to trust themselves. They all learned to adapt and get out of their comfort zone. And no, the kids didn’t go to Disneyland.”

The Disneyland theme park was only 20 miles from their location.

The Trojans girls finished in 12th place out of 14 schools (287 points). El Segundo was the top school (33) and then Foothill Technology (86) followed by Redlands East Valley (86).

The top Trojans girl was Diamond Sonerholm (22:48.08) in 58th place. She was followed by Grace Plumb in 62nd place (23:01.88) and Terrena Martin in 70th place (23:55.52). Alicia Quiroz finished in 72nd place (23:56).

For the girls, Kolodzieczyk thought Plumb ran a good race.

The next meet is the Lake Mead Invitational this Saturday, at Veterans Memorial Park, where there will be at least 53 teams.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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