Record Breaking: Connell Alford


Connell Alford (‘24) is the living and breathing example of “the sky’s the limit.” After running a school record-breaking, 15-minute and six-second 5K, Alford has proven to himself and the community that he can truly accomplish anything he puts his mind to. 

Alford started running cross country when the community made it available. 

“I started running cross country in 5th grade with the Run Club at BMS for the 5th and 6th graders,” Alford said. 

Cross country started as something Alford liked to do for fun, but it ended up providing more opportunities than he could have ever imagined. He has met new people, traveled to exciting places, and made memories that will last a lifetime. 

“I think cross-country has affected my life opportunities,” Alford said. “I’ve had to go places I wouldn’t have without it.”

With new people come new coaches, and Alford has had one specific coach who has been a constant contributor to his cross-country career. 

“Swager has always been there for me for my running experience,” Alford said. “He is always out all summer and winter giving us hard but helpful workouts.”

Having a coach like Eric Swager who provides continuous support and shows how much he cares for his athletes has given Alford the motivation to work hard and show off his skills. A few weeks ago, Alford was not only able to show off his skill in running, but break a school record in the process. 

Alford dominated a race that was early in the season and one of the harder races in the overall season.

“I went into the race with the goal to have fun and see what I could do,” Alford said. “I knew that this race was full of some of the best runners in both Michigan and Ohio, so I just kept an open mind.” 

Alford was not expecting to beat a school record time, especially so early in the season, but he was able to perform his very best and the whole community was able to see how his hard work has paid off. 

“I knew a fast time would be possible,” Alford said. “But I thought it would have to be a specific day that I was trying to beat the record.” 

Fifteen minutes and six seconds is not where Alford hopes to stop his 5K time. As all runners do, he strives to beat his time in every race.

“Now that I’ve run 15:06, I’ve set another goal to break 15 this season,” Alford said. “I’ll have my next opportunity on October 1 at Otsego.”

Alford has broken a school record that hasn’t been touched in years and continues to work as hard as possible to break his own record next. If Alford can perform the way he has been so far this season, a fifteen-minute 5K should be a walk in the park for him.