Trouard, Cactus Shadows claim titles at Division II boys state cross country meet

Trouard, Cactus Shadows claim titles at Division II boys state cross country meet

News

Trouard, Cactus Shadows claim titles at Division II boys state cross country meet

By

A year ago, Tucson Salpointe Catholic senior Andy Trouard would have been in the pool for the Division II state swim meet. His mop of white blond hair would have been shaved in preparation for competition.

Instead, his hair falling over his eyebrows, Trouard found success in another sport, taking first place at the Division II boys state cross country meet Saturday at Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix.

He finished in 16 minutes, 2 seconds, more than 17 seconds ahead of the next finisher.

In the team competition, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows dethroned reigning champ Oro Valley Canyon del Oro for the team title.

“I’m just super happy I got it,” Trouard said. “I was kind of expecting it going in.”

Trouard didn’t switch to distance running because he struggled in the water. As a junior, he placed second in the 50-yard freestyle and was on two title-winning relay teams for Salpointe.

He switched because he just liked running better.

“I always ran when I was in swimming, just because it’s good cross training,” Trouard said. “It’s fun, I enjoyed it. Track season last year, I really saw what I could and I was really surprised. I knew I had a chance to run at the collegiate level, so I needed to do cross country.”

Trouard has received interest from Northern Arizona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and made a visit to the University of Texas earlier in the year.

Saturday, his race was just as fast as his rise to prominence. Trouard left the pack almost immediately after the starting gun, and ran most of the 3.1-mile course virtually alone.

“Just separate myself so no one tried to stick with me, so that there’s not a group,” he said. “It’s kind of just a team thing. I want to make sure I’m away so everybody else on my team could stay in the front pack.”

The hope was to give his teammates a shot at a team title, but Cactus Shadows snatched that away by placing four of its five scoring runners in the top 25. Ethan Homan (fourth) and Keith Durkin (ninth) earned top-10 finishes.

Cactus Shadows handily beat the defending champ Canyon del Oro, along with other teams with which it’s jostled for position over the season like Salpointe and Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge.

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports