Hurricane (UT) High's Caila Odekirk had just finished up her most successful season of cross country and track, running times of 4:57 for 1,600m, 10:28 for 3,200m, 17:22 for 3 miles, and 17:56 for 5,000m, before a big opportunity came her way.
Odekirk's junior year ended with three individual state titles (one in XC and two in track) and a runner-up finish at state in the 800m.
She was the top returner for the state of Utah and a possible top 25 distance athlete nationally.
Then news broke Tuesday, June 28, that she had taken a different path: Not only had she graduated early, but she was already signed to run for Utah Valley University, located in Orem.
This is a huge pickup for the Wolverines, which have already had an impressive season of recruiting, picking up multiple low five 1,600m runners in Heidi Sumsion (5:02), Hope Preston (5:03), Elisabeth Ferrell (5:04), and Agnieszka Lubowska (5:02* 1,500m converted)
These are the kinds of additions that could help UVU's women's team qualify for NCAA nationals in the near future.
But it gets better.
Not only will Caila be teaming up with a good deal of in-state talent, but she will also be reuniting with her older sister Hailey, who just completed her freshman year at UVU.
Hailey and Caila were two years apart while in high school, and during Hailey's senior year both were able to lead their school to a fifth-place finish at the state cross country championships back in 2019.
Now the Odekirk sisters will have three years together in college; Caila will start with the team this August.