Top finishes for AHA cross country runners at Carden Classic in Tucson

Trenton Stafford (left) and Joshua Riley.

Trenton Stafford (left) and Joshua Riley.

In their second race after debuting in the Canyon Athletic Association (CAA), American Heritage runners Joshua Riley and Trenton Stafford placed first and second, respectively, in Division 1 and second and third, respectively, at the Carden Classic 5K Men’s High School Cross Country Race in Tucson.

AHA cross country was put to the test last weekend at they faced not only other small Division 1 charter schools, but were racing against much larger, Division 2 schools from around the state.  The Carden Classic race attracted young men’s high school teams from 19 schools.

In the high school men’s 5K event, 104 runners lined up to face to the desert terrain north of Tuscon. The course was a combination of paved foot paths, ditches and open desert that surrounded the Gladden Farms Community Park.  Runners and spectators were told to watch out for snakes hiding in the desert vegetation.

Josh Riley took a decisive lead during the first half of the race. Riley commented, “I felt really good going out.” As the runners came to the final mile, Riley was passed by Division 2 runner, Jorge Sosa from ALA-Ironwood and finished second overall, 11 seconds behind the first place runner.

Trenton Stafford, another AHA athlete, came in just 3 seconds behind Riley finishing third overall. Both Stafford and Riley finished with times just under 19 minutes. Riley’s time was 18:46 and Stafford’s was 18:49.

Coach Mark Stafford commented, “All our runners finished strong. Each one of our runners achieved a personal record for the season at this race. We are pleased to see that AHA was able to place two of the top three runners last weekend, even when we were running against schools much larger than ours.”

American Heritage Academy is a public charter school located in Cottonwood. 

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