Brice Ellgen started his high school days much like any incoming freshman he took it easy, not looking to do to much but get used to high school.
After his freshman year, things started to change for the underclassman.
"Some of my friends were running on the cross country team, so I decided to give it a try. I didn't think that I was going to do that well," Ellgen said.
As a sophomore, Ellgen's first year of distance running started slowly. He struggled in his races at the beginning of the season, but was able to stick with the program and end the season strong, cross country Coach Mike Gleason said.
It's rare that a runner can do what Ellgen did come out and join a sport cold, and find so much success in the first year, the coach said.
"The thing is, Brice has a ton of talent. Most runner couldn't do what he did. He just needs to keep on working out during the season," said Gleason.
Ellgen was able to finish sixth at regionals this year and earn a spot at state. He didn't fare as well at the state title match as he had earlier in the season, but was the second boy on the Moffat County team to finish the race.
His finishes earned him the honor of being named All-Conference.
"I didn't even really think that I would make varsity this year when I joined the team, so it was really great to get to make the trip to state," he said.
Ellgen hopes to make the trip to state an annual event, looking to workout during the off season to insure he meets his goals for next year improve his overall record, shave a minute off his times, make it to state, and be ready for state.
"Winning All-Conference and going to state this year has just let me know that I've done well in my first year, but I need to keep on improving and working for my goals," Ellgen said.
That running is so laid-back, is what Ellgen most enjoys about the sport that each runner is self-reliant and run his or her own race are what appeal to him.
"I didn't even think that I was going to enjoy running until I came out for my first day of cross country practice last fall. After that it just kind of clicked for me," he said. "One of the first things that really drew me to the sport is that it didn't matter if you finished first, you were out there running at your pace and ability."
Ellgen's success in long distance running has taken him off the road and onto the track, where he is competing in a number of events this spring. He hopes the extra sport will help him to improve his running. Ellgen has two more years to keep improving for the 'Dogs.
"Overall, I was impressed with myself this year, I really didn't think I was going to be a good runner," Ellgen said. "I had trouble running in P.E. class sometimes, I didn't think I was going to run at state for cross country."