Soroco senior commits to run for Arizona Christian
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Kourtney Bruner’s father and track and field coach, David Bruner, was determined to keep some sort of normalcy.
Kourtney, a senior at Soroco High School, committed to run cross country and track at Arizona Christian University weeks ago, but David didn’t want to celebrate the achievement until the family could all don ACU Firestorm gear and gather around Kourtney as if she were signing right then.
On Thursday, May 21, what would have been the first day of the state track meet, the Bruners met on the track in Oak Creek.
“I think it’s important for kids, not just because it’s my daughter, but for any kid that I’ve coached in track, basketball, football,” David said. “I think it’s a big deal. They put a lot of time into it, a lot of effort, a lot of sacrifices and commitment, and they deserve something like this. … You can’t just overlook stuff.”
They didn’t have a table, so they set up a hurdle and leaned starting blocks and relay batons against it, forming a decorative and ceremonial stand for Kourtney to pose behind. If it weren’t for school closures and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bruner would have been surrounded by friends and exchanging hugs.
“It’s pretty disappointing, but I’m glad that I can still have something, even though it’s not a big thing,” Kourtney said. “Definitely, I thought my senior year would look a lot different, but what we have is what we have, so make the best of it.”
Kourtney has run track since middle school and started cross country when she got to high school. Track has always been the favorite of her two running sports, as well as the one where she saw the most individual success. She finished eighth in the 200-meter dash at the state track meet in 2019. However, she also aided the girls cross country team to a 10th-place finish at the state cross country meet in October 2019.
“It’s kind of a free sport. You can do it on your own, which is nice, but it’s nice to have a team as well,” Kourtney said. “I think I really just like that I can go by myself and think and run.”
Seeing her success in both cross country and track, ACU is hoping Kourtney can be a year-round Firestorm athlete. The university is located in Glendale, Arizona, and its athlete compete at the NAIA level. Kourtney said she expects to run the 400-meter and some relays but hopes she can run in the 200-meter dash as well, her favorite event.
“We’re excited for her but at the same time a little apprehensive,” said Kourtney’s mom Kim. “We’re excited for Arizona Christian. We think it’s a great school, and we think it’s going to be a great fit for her.”
While running and enjoying the Arizona heat, Kourtney plans to earn a degree in early childhood education, which would allow her to teach kids from birth all the way through eighth-grade.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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