Kashon Harrison 5KC runner wins state, named All-American
Last year, Kashon Harrison made a name for himself in the New Mexico cross country scene. He tore through the competition, winning every race — except one. The only race Harrison lost during his sophomore season was the last — the state championship.
Fueled by that bitter defeat, Harrison has been on fire ever since. He led the Kirtland Central Broncos to a runner-up finish at the state championships in Rio Rancho and finally claimed his own individual state title, finishing the race in 15:54.85. He won state 17 years after his father won the title in 1999 for the Kirtland Central Broncos.
“What Kashon has done is really amazing. He is our leader and he sets the tone for our whole team,” Kirtland Central cross country coach, Lenny Esson, said at the December CCSD Board Meeting where Harrison and his team were recognized for their runner up finish at the state race.
But Harrison wasn’t done.
He continued racing at the Foot Locker West Regional in Walnut, California, and won that race, qualifying him for the Foot Locker National Championship against 40 of the best runner in the US in San Diego. Harrison finished 14th at the national race with a time of 15:50.9. The top 15 finish earned Harrison another title: All American.
Harrison has one more year to compete for Kirtland Central, where he hopes to claim another state title. He is aiming for a future at the University of Oregon, “where all the best runners go,” and a career as an architect.
Other teams were recognized by the CCSD school board for their performances in their respective state tournaments including two Newcomb High cross country runners and the NHS football team; Shiprock High football, volleyball and cross country teams; and Kirtland Central cross country and volleyball teams. The Kirtland Central girls cross country team finished in third and the Shiprock High girls cross country team finished in second at their state races.
“We are very proud of our fall sports teams,” Ben Tensay, district athletic coordinator, said. “They all represented CCSD well both on and off the court.”
On February 12, the Gatorade Company announced that Kashon Harrison is the 2017-18 Gatorade New Mexico Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.