‘… it sets him apart’
KC’s Harrison makes sacrifices, reaches goals, for college
The moment Kashon Harrison joined Kirtland Central’s distance running team, he knew where he wanted to run.
Harrison had couple of destinations in mind, including becoming one of the best runners in the state and winning a couple of state titles. But the destination he most looked forward to was earning a college scholarship and becoming a Division I distance runner.
Harrison reached that destination this month when he signed a national letter of intent to run cross-country and track and field with the University of Colorado in Boulder.
The 18-year-old senior said doing so came with excitement and relief.
“It was exciting,” he said. “I felt really relieved. I finally get to rest. I don’t have to worry about that.”
Harrison had a number of offers including from Syracuse University and Oklahoma State University.
He said there was something about the University of Colorado that made him feel right at home.
“You’re going to be there for maybe four or five years, it’s where you’re doing to be, and where you want to be,” Harrison said. “That’s where I wanted to be.”
Kashon said other factors he considered included academics, the high elevation, which he enjoys as a runner, and the location.
He added that the team and coaches welcomed him.
“The coaches were really good, the runners too,” Harrison said. “They made you feel like you don’t have to be scared because you’re not going through school by yourself. They’re there to help you.”
The road to the most important destination on Harrison’s journey was one of sacrifice, hard work and commitment.
Kirtland Central cross-country coach Lenny Esson said when Harrison first started running for him as an 8th grader, he verbalized his desire to work toward a college scholarship.
And even then, Esson said he saw something different in Harrison that made him believe it was possible.
“When he came into my program, his mindset was he wanted to run in college,” Esson said. “I had many kids say that, but somewhere around their junior, senior year it phases out.
“To have Kashon not only grow over the four years but also to commit to his dream of running and competing at Division I, it really sets him apart from some of the other kids I’ve had,” he said. “A big part of it is just his hunger to succeed and push his limits in running.”