On the eve of probably the biggest 3a showdown of the past 10 years, I got to talk with Max... I started out wanting to get a sense of how he felt as one of the top dogs in this impressive pack and ended after what seemed like too short a talk, impressed with a young athlete confident in himself, empowered by his training, motivated by great coaches and aware of his place and role on the Seattle Prep Team.
Max became focused on what would eventually lead him to the 3a XC crown sometime during his soph. That year, seasoned with ambitious training, saw Max take the Track 3200 title and open into his Junior season, by taking the XC title but watched others take his spots in track, suffering with anemia and a lower back stress fracture. Wiser from the wear Max cut back his training to less rigorous, logging a max. of 60 miles per week over the summer, and focused on the job of understanding his strengths, running smart races and understanding his competition.
Max runs workouts with his teammates understanding the important aspect of his position on the team is to weld teammanship, to inspire hard work from his piers and to expect his success and the teams\' to be linked. The Seattle Prep boys team placed first in the District finals, running with Max at Pasco instead of being happy to cheer on.
So far it is all paying off. Coming off a course record performance at the brutal Lower Woodland course at this years Seaking district meet, he backed off a bit. This race, running with Matt Frerker and Abdi Hasen, would serve better to boost his confidence and allow him to learn a bit more of his competition. Instead of topping his time, something a less secure runner would want, Max and his coach chose to hold back at the beginning and seal the deal in the later part of the race, a move which in the would serve him better for the blistering pace inevitable in tomorrows 3a State final.
Today at Pasco, The 3A showdown played out with all the excitement and glory as promised. Max Odonoghue-Macdonald set a close but early lead, seemingly pulling Matt Frerker , Abid Hassan, Ryan Prentilce and Jeremy Swanson along with a short lead at the first mile. By the second mile Max had forged a 30 second lead on the main pack. In spite of a seasoned and determined effort from great runners, Max held the lead until end of the race, finishing with a blistering 15:32, 31 seconds ahead of #2 Matt Frerker of Skyline 16:03, #3Ryan Prentice of Mt. Rainier 16:09, #4 Jeremy Swenson of Bishop Blanchet 16:19, #5 Andy Kimpell of North Central 16:23, #6 Abdi Hassan of Nathan Hale 16:28'
Max Odonoghue-McDonald led his Seattle Prep Team to a second place finish behind North Central, posting the fastest time for the day and locking in a 2 year reign as XC 3A champion.