An athlete at American Heritage Academy (AHA) took the top spot at the annual “Run on the Ranch” Cross Country meet at Orme school. Orme’s cross country track weaves in and out of horse corals, dormitories and ball fields that make up the campus of the international boarding school.
The course was rocky and dusty and the warm, dry weather this time of year made this race particularly difficult. Unique to Orme School, the runners were led by a rider on horseback. Running behind a galloping horse, athletes were part of a standing tradition at Orme school.
Over 500 athletes came out to compete from dozens of schools from around the state. All the schools were part of the growing Canyon Athletic Association (CAA). This season, AHA put together its first Cross Country team since they joined the CAA and they made their debut appearance with a small squad of just 4 athletes.
Undeterred by their small team, AHA athletics came through with an uncharacteristically strong race for a brand new cross country program. AHA’s Trenton Stafford, tackled the tough terrain and pulled out a decisive victory in the 5K event with a time of 19:46. Stafford’s time was not only the best among other Division 1 schools, but it was the best time overall at the competition.
AHA was also thrilled to see strong finishes with their other runners, Ira Thompson, Andy Hayes and Nathan Stafford. On a special note, Andy, a 7th grader, ran in the high school race with the AHA high school team and finished his first 5K competition in his running career.
Coach Mark Stafford said, “I’m really pleased that our runners came out so strong. It is a big deal for our program to begin the season with a first place finisher. We are also all really proud of the effort we saw from every athlete. I think American Heritage will be a serious cross country competitor this season.”
American Heritage Academy is a public charter school located in Cottonwood.
-Courtesy, American Heritage Academy
More like this story
- Top finishes for AHA cross country runners at Carden Classic in Tucson
- Record-breaking weekend for American Heritage Cross Country
- Flagstaff again dominant in Northland prep cross country
- Arizona Indoor Classic Winners
- Cottonwood Aftershock runner Allyson Arellano wins 4th consecutive Arizona Junior Olympic Cross Country title