Merchant runs fastest 5K time ever for AK high school runner

October 7, 2020

Tristian Merchant

Anchorage’s Tristian Merchant runs like he’s chasing history.

Now history will chase him.

The ACS senior cross-country running star clocked what is believed to be the fastest 5-K time for an Alaska high school runner when he clocked 14:41 at the Region III championships in Palmer.

The record was first reported by Beth Bragg of the Anchorage Daily News.

Merchant’s time bettered his previous PR of 14:45 and crushed his own record at Palmer, where he ran 15:04 last year.

“Tristian is one of those athletes that comes along once in a coaching career,” said ACS track coach Jason Hofacker after Merchant was named Gatorade Alaska Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

“He is consistent, dedicated, coachable, and has great integrity. He pushes all those around him to set their goals higher and work harder to attain them.”

Merchant is also the reigning Gatorade Alaska Cross Country Runner of the Year.

He won the Alaska state title, placed sixth at regionals and finished 13th at the Nike Cross National Championships.

Then he won the 3K indoor race at the University of Washington High School Invitational with a time of 8:31, which ranked No. 5 in the nation.

“Tristian Merchant is a model athlete,” said ACS cross country coach Jake Moe. “He works hard and pushes his teammates to be better. He’s become a student of his sport and has found new ways to make himself better.”