Sports have always been a part of Bryce Hoppel’s life. Since before Bryce was born, his father, Monty, has been the general manager of the Midland Roundhounds, a double-A minor league affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Bryce’s older sister, Kelsey, was a member of Lubbock Christian University’s undefeated NCAA Div. II National Championships basketball team. While Bryce spent time in soccer and baseball, it was in track that he found his true talent.
Transitioning from soccer and baseball to track midway through his high school career, Bryce finished second over 800m at the Texas UIL 6A state final. The following year, as a senior, Bryce won the state title in 1:49.67, a school record.
With his newfound success in middle-distance running, Bryce enrolled at the University of Kansas. At Kansas, Bryce developed into a competitive year-round force for the Jayhawks: by his sophomore year, he was representing Kansas at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, which he followed up with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships 800m final. Outdoors, Bryce finished fourth over 800m at the NCAA Championships, running 1:45.67 to become the second-fastest Jayhawk in Kansas history, only behind Jim Ryun.
As a junior at Kansas, Bryce was unstoppable. Between indoor and outdoor track, Bryce clocked 21 consecutive victories, including the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles at 800m. Competing at the US Championships, Bryce finished third to qualify for his first IAAF World Championships. At the World Championships in Doha, Bryce, who had begun his racing season 12 months before, finished fourth in a new lifetime best of 1:44.25.
Only four months after his sensational 2019 season ended, Bryce won the 2020 USATF Indoor Championshionships crown over 800m, the first senior US national title of his career. That summer, Bryce picked up right where he left off, setting a new lifetime best over 800m and ending the limited 2020 outdoor season as the second-fastest man in the world over 800 meters.