Midland High alum and Kansas track star Bryce Hoppel will represent the United States in this year’s Pan Am games.
Hoppel will run his signature event, the 800-meter run, for the United States of America Track and Field team in Peru at the start of August.
The Midland-native finished his junior season at Kansas undefeated in the 800 meters. Hoppel won both the indoor and outdoor national championship in the race.
Now, Hoppel will take that success to the next level at the world stage. Hoppel said he knew that he was at the top of the qualifying list for the Pan Am games, and was not very surprised when he got the offer.
But he was excited to come home to Midland and celebrate with his friends and family.
“All the support from not only the community, but my family and friends has been incredible. It’s crazy to see how far from high school I’ve come, getting to represent the United States and Midland. It’s pretty incredible,” Hoppel said.
The star mid-distance runner is hoping to use the Pan Am Games to help him reach his main goal: the Olympics.
“I think this will just give me a lot of experience at that world stage…competing against some of the guys that are the best in the world. But the ultimate goal is definitely next year: the Olympic trials in Oregon. Hopefully get top three there and make the Olympic team,” he said.
This year’s Pan American Games will be in Lima, Peru. The men’s 800-meter run will take place on August 9 and 10. Team USA Track and Field is coming off one of the most dominant Pan Am Games performances since 1999. The team won 41 medals.
Watch the video above to hear from Hoppel.