Runner Takes 10th In Prestigious Meet


Recent Payson High School graduate David Cluff finished in 10th place Saturday at the 31st annual Great Southwest Track and Field Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.

Track and Field Coach David Hardt said 20 participants competed in the 3200-meter event in the classic, which is recognized as one of the top four post-season invitationals in the nation.


David Cluff

Hardt said Cluff was hoping to set a school record as well as run the event in less than 10 minutes. Cluff ran the 3200-meter event in 10 minutes, 16 seconds.

Cluff was the ninth PHS student to compete in the prestigious classic. The others were Darren Reid, Todd Reid, Mark Hochstetler, Stephanie Robertson, Jon Gunzel, Julie Gunzel, Reanna Martinez and Bo Althoff.

Hardt said all the times of the participants at the classic were about 30 seconds off their personal best.

Cluff's personal record is 9:55.8.

Hardt said everything Cluff ran in high school was a mile.

The Payson High School graduate will be attending Mesa Community College, where he plans to compete in Track and Field.

He begins training with the team this week.

Cluff was offered a scholarship to run track for New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M., but turned it down so he could stay closer to home.

"Dave's best days are ahead of him," Hardt said. "He did everything he could. He was real happy that he could represent Arizona.

The Southwest Classic debuted in 1930 to provide outstanding athletes in each state to compete in a regional invitational meet.

Many participating athletes have received scholarships as a result of their performance at the meet.

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