BUCKLEY— Buckley star-runner Aiden Harrand has accomplished just about everything a high school track and field/cross country athlete could hope for.
She is an eight-time individual state champion (six-time T&F, two-time XC) and has helped the Buckley Bears to a team track championship of their own.
Tuesday, she added one more accomplishment to her laundry list of achievements, signing her National Letter of Intent to a college that checked off all of her “dream school” boxes.
When searching for a program to join, Harrand knew she wanted to be a division one runner, while also being a part of a smaller, family-like campus. She also had her fingers crossed for warm weather- so she landed on Salem, North Carolina’s Wake Forest, where she will run both track and cross country.
“I got the opportunity to go out there and just kind of see everything in perspective. It was beautiful, and I fell in love with the campus, I fell in love with everything out there,” Harrand said.
Harrand had to pull some strings to catch the eye of her future program. So, she reached out to current Wake Forest runner, and former Benzie Central standout, Hunter Jones.
“You definitely have to get yourself out there and pull connections,” Harrand said. “I was reaching out all the time and making sure that people could easily find me on the internet, find my times, what I’ve done in the past. And I made sure people knew what my goals were, too. That’s super important.”
Harrand says she’s most excited for the warm weather once she officially joins the WF squad, and to see her untapped potential. But for now, she’s got her sights on a few new records to break this coming track and field season.
“There’s the unofficial division four mile state record of 4:47, I’m hoping I can conquer that,” she said. “Also obtaining the state meet record for the 1600.”