Lauren Ping wins 4th straight AIA XC title

Valley Christian senior Lauren Ping in the Division IV race at The AIA State Cross Country Championships at Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix. Ping won the race in a time of 17:53.2.


Lauren Ping wins 4th straight AIA XC title

Ping caps off high school cross country career on a high note, Phoenix Country Day School claims first-ever state team title in Division IV

PHOENIX, AZ -- As she came up the final hill on homestretch of the Cave Creek Golf Course at The AIA State Cross Country Championships, Valley Christian senior Lauren Ping reflected on the past.

It was a surreal moment for the senior, who has accomplished a lot since her first season at the high school level.

Four years later, Ping has cemented herself as one of the best athletes in Arizona prep history. Ping won the Division IV race in 17:53.2 on Saturday, claiming her fourth consecutive individual state title in cross country.

"I feel super blessed to be able to do that," Ping said. "Just coming down the finish line, thinking back to the freshman in me was a crazy moment."

After battling injuries in the spring during track and approaching this fall with a delayed start, Ping -- who transferred from Division I Desert Vista over the summer -- was pleased to walk away with the title. 

Ping led the from start, jumping out to the front with a 5:41 first mile. Phoenix Country Day junior Kimi Cahoon, who finished in second overall at 19:28.5, came through mile one at 6:07.1.

From there, Ping increased her lead as she kept the pace nearly even through two miles at 11:19.4. Cahoon was second at 12:24.1.

With the win, Ping adds to her resumé as one of the best runners in state history. Ping is the state record-holder in both the 5,000 meters (16:40.4) and 1600m (4:43.26), won four individual state titles and was apart of two team championships in cross country and has two individual state titles in track and field.

"It's been a great cross country career," Ping said. "Obviously three years at Desert Vista, one year at Valley Christian. It's been amazing, all my experiences with my teammates. It's a great check off my goals for my high school career, winning state four times. It's just a great feeling."

Here are the rest of top 20 individuals:


While Cahoon didn't capture the individual title, she still walked away with a first-place medal as her second-place effort propelled Phoenix Country Day School to the team title. The Eagles scored 42 points to come out on top.

"It means everything to me, we work so hard in practice and to see it pay off is so rewarding," Cahoon said. "It proves that as a team we shouldn't be overlooked."

It is a rapid rise for Phoenix Country Day School, who won the first ever state title in cross country in school history after recently started up their cross country program at the school in 2019.

F 5000m2Kimi Cahoon1119:28.502
F 5000m10Anna Sabol1120:43.107
F 5000m14Ella Brenes1221:07.1011
F 5000m18Jenna Powell1121:29.2014
F 5000m22Rachel Coviello921:39.3016
F 5000m93Sophia Nistor1226:00.6063
F 5000m103Petra Danek927:08.3072

Glendale Prep Academy was a close second with 68 points. Sophomore Taryn Janssen came in fourth place at 19:43.9 to help lead the Griffins to a runner-up finish.

Northland Preparatory rounded out the top three at 88 points.