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Thornton recalls ‘breaking 20’ in cross country

MADISON – Ford Thornton never thought he would like running but trying the sport of cross country completely changed his mind.

A senior at Bob Jones High School, Ford is in his second year with the Varsity Boys Cross Country Team.

“I love cross country because it showed me I was capable of more than I thought I was,” Ford said. “I tried a plethora of sports and thought athletics just weren’t for me until my mother convinced me to run a 5K with her.”

“I thought it would be a one-time thing, but I did better than I expected,” Ford said. “After that, I joined cross country to get my physical education credit, after which I improved more than I ever thought I could.”

“Running is by far my favorite sport; however, I also have an interest in archery,” he said. Along with his sports pursuits, Ford wrote two pieces that were published in Bob Jones’ literary magazine.

Ford’s parents, Mark and Melissa Thornton, met at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. “I was born in Huntsville and raised in Madison. I haven’t lived anywhere else,” Ford said.

His father Mark Thornton is Director of Missile Defense Operating Unit for Northrop Grumman Corporation. His mother Melissa Ford Thornton works as a contributing writer to “Authentik” magazine, publicist for a folk band and professional storyteller and poet.

Q & A

Q: What are your favorite restaurants?

A: Nothing but Noodles and Hibachi Express.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: My favorite foods are hibachi chicken and shrimp.

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?

A: “I usually pull for Alabama, but I also like the Florida Gators. I like the Green Bay Packers in NFL,” Ford said.

Q: What’s your favorite sports memory?

A: “My favorite moment in cross country was when I broke twenty (20 minutes) for the first time. I ran a 19:53 and later a 19:42 — still being my best,” Ford said.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: “In my free time, I like to hike, kayak and I’ve even gone rappelling. I’m also known to go off-roading/mudding from time to time,” he said. “I love music and I listen to metal and EDM (electronic dance music) mainly.”

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