The boys and girls Pahrump Valley High School cross-country team gears up every weekday for a morning workout. Those runners thinking of joining the team this year are free to run with them.
The team runs all week long and meets at the student parking lot at 6:30 a.m., near the football field.
“We have been running since early summer and average about six guys and two girls,” sophomore Michael Sonerholm said.
Sonerholm has been working hard all summer and wants the boys to go to state this year and win.
“I want our team to win state this year and I want to compete with Grant (Odegard) and beat him. I am shooting for a 17:30.
Grant Odegard was at 17 minutes and 50 seconds (all times for 5,000-meter course) last year and Sonerholm was at an 18:08.
Sonerholm has two other siblings on the team, brother Layron, a senior, and sister Diamond, a sophomore.
“I am ready to go work hard and compete well,” Layron said. “I feel stronger this year. I am more mature. I want to get into the 16:30s. I got 17:15 last year.”
Layron is the second fastest on the team and senior Bryce Odegard is the fastest. Bryce Odegard said he runs up to 35 miles a week.
“I am just trying to get miles in and so I am building,” Bryce Odegard said. “We have a good turnout this year for these workouts. The team has been working hard and it will show in the fall for those that came out. We are expecting around 15 guys to come out. We are not expecting as many as in the past.”
The boys should be contenders this year. This year they start with four strong runners. Layron Sonerholm will have some competition for the number two spot, his brother Michael (18:08.9), and Grant Odegard (17:50.1). Adding to a strong core is senior Cole Goodman (17:49), and junior Jacob Cipollini (18:26.7).
“Once again, the men’s team should be strong, and it will be another exciting year,” the coach said. “As for the women’s team, I won’t have an accurate count until school starts. They should have a good year, especially if we get more runners to help Diamond Sonerholm, Terrena Martin, and Grace Plumb.”
This will be the last year for Bryce Odegard, but he says his brother will try to fill his shoes next year, which will be big ones to fill, since Bryce won the individual state title last year.
“My brother Grant will go through the roof this year,” Bryce Odegard said. “He can’t beat me yet. He has worked hard. I think he could come close if he works hard. His freshman time was within a minute of my freshman time. He grew five inches though since last year and he will bring that time down. He has been training awesome from what he has shown just through the summer.”
The girls team
Senior Grace Plumb was excited about her senior year too. Last year was her first year running cross-country.
“I only started running last year and since this is my second year, I want to make this year count,” Plumb said. “I started running with these guys last July. Last year I had never run before in my life. Compared to how I was doing last year, I am going a lot farther and I feel a lot more comfortable running. I am shooting for under 22.”
Plumb ran a 22:13, which was her fastest time at the regional championships last year. She was 49th in the 3A last year and posted the second best time for the girls.
“It would be cool to say 20 but I will try my best,” she said. “I will work it out bit by bit.”
Plumb, like most of the cross-country team, ran track during the spring.
“Track was a lot of fun,” she said. “It was my first year doing anything. It was a great experience. But I like the feeling of running in the open instead of on a track.”
The fastest girl on the team could be Diamond Sonerholm, who was the fastest for the girls as a freshman last year, posting a 21:40 and was ranked 38th in Class 3A.
Also running with Plumb and the boys was junior Katherine Goodman, (23:50) who also has been working hard in the offseason to bring down her times.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com