Treigh Leigh Orchard is an American 400m sprinter currently training for the USA 2020 Track and Field Olympic Trials. Her track and field career is small but with impressive highlights that only few have accomplished. This is not your typical Track and Field athlete story...

She was born in Los Angeles, CA on November 5, 1988 and already faced a life of adversity and hardship.

“When I was 5 years old I witnessed my parents go through a violent separation. There were times when we were so poor I would go to my friends house, sneak into the bathroom and eat toilet paper to help with the hunger pangs. I didn’t converse much as a child. I was shy, angry, abused and frustrated with my parents because I felt disabled and forgotten. This frustration and fend for yourself lifestyle turned me into what many would call a “Tom Boy”. I was an outcast and bullied by boys. My only saving grace from these bullies was my God given speed and that I could out run the boys when being chased. Running saved me then...and running has saved me now...”

At the age of 7, Treigh and her brother were sent to a Foster Care Home. Treigh’s father, with the help from his mother, eventually gained custody of Treigh and her brother, Ryder. At the age of 11 Treigh was a straight A student and broke 4 school records at Riverview Middle School in Bay Point, CA. She then came back her 7th grade year and broke 5 school records! A total of 9 records and 5 still stand today!

“While in high school life was still far from perfect. At the age of 18 my dad was unemployed. I worked hard to help keep a roof over his and my brothers head until I could no more. We ended up losing our apartment and living with different families.”

After being stuck in a financial rut and no upward career mobility, Treigh finally decided to get back to the one thing she always knew she excelled at, RUNNING.
“She always pushed everyone to be the best version of themselves that they could be” -- Nico C. (Long Jump/Triple Jump)
“At 22 years old I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was insecure, confused, lost and had no drive towards anything. I lived with my now adopted mother, Shea, who along with my Aunt Teri, became my role models to work hard, go to college and become the first person in my family to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. I did some serious mental unpacking and searched for a path towards a successful life for someone in my position. It wasn’t until the Summer of 2012 that I decided to clean up my act and go back to Laney College to complete my final year of Junior College Track and Field. Although I was not eligible for a scholarship, I decided I would train my hardest to compete and win the 400m State Championship Title. After not running for nearly 10 years I did not look like a sprinter compared to my teammates nor did anyone think I could win. I was far behind most athletes I was competing with so I knew I had to train twice as hard! I was a full-time employee, full-time student and I trained twice a day certain times within the week to get where I needed to be under Coach Curtis Taylor and my personal trainer, Ruben Vaughn. I went to track practice maybe 2 or 3 times out of the week because I had to work and pay bills/rent. The days I was not at practice I would train myself late at night at my local neighborhood track. I never wanted something so badly in my life. This determination and support from family and friends helped me overcome all odds and achieve a dream I held close to my heart as a child. By 2013 I became the 400m Coast Conference, Northern California, and State Champion! I went from 60 seconds in the 400m to a 54.75 in 9 months. That time was 2.5 seconds away from the 2016 Olympic 400m Qualifying Standard! After Coaches from Universities around the country asked about me my school looked deeper into the books and it turned out I was eligible for a Full-Ride track and field scholarship to a Division 2 University! It was a blessing!! But this wave of success did not pan out as hoped...”
Treigh Leigh Orchard
Treigh Leigh Orchard
  • In 2014 Treigh transferred to California State University of Los Angeles with a Full-Ride Track and Field Scholarship. The 2 years there she suffered injuries that kept her from any improvement in the 400m.
  • 2015 Treigh graduated from CSULA with a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and became the first person in her family to earn a degree!
  • In the summer of 2015 Treigh was accepted to train with Coach Lawrence &lquo;Boogie” Johnson. There she trained alongside Olympians such a Brianna Rolins-Mcneal, Dalilah Muhammad, and Shevon Stoddart. Unfortunately, before the 2016 Track and Field season began Treigh suffered from large reoccurring ovarian cysts, another ankle injury as well as financial hardship that kept her from competing towards the 2016 Olympic Trials.
  • After she became healthy again, Treigh moved back to the Bay Area early January 2017 with her adopted family and began training for the 2017 Track and Field Season under Coach Sean Gwi, now the Assistant Track and Field Coach at the University of Hawaii.
  • January 24, 2017 Treigh suffered from a herniated disc during a weight lifting routine.
  • February 16, 2017 she was diagnosed with a large tumor on her right ovary and had doctor orders to stop training. 
  • On May 17, 2017 Treigh had surgery and although it was a successful operation she suffered complications following recovery. It took her 7 months after surgery before she could walk and jog normally again due to severe endometriosis.
  • August 24, 2018 Treigh had surgery again to remove a deep lipoma that developed near here spinal chord.
  • September 17, 2018 Treigh began her training (lipoma and cyst free) under her present Coaches, Steven Pust and Stacy Dragila. Along with her strength and life Coach, Ruben Vaughn. 
“At this point in my life I have sacrificed everything to compete as an elite. I believe if you will it, you will create it. Running has acted as a disciplinary in my life when my parents where not around and kept me out of trouble. Through these hardships and trials,  I have never been more grateful for every day I wake up alive and healthy. With the support of my family, friends, athletes and community I have chosen to pick myself back up and train harder and smarter than I have ever done before and make one heck of a comeback story! But I could not be here today if it weren’t for you all rooting me on and encouraging this goal of mine to become a top 8 finalist at the 2020 Olympic Trials. Thank you to the moon and back for being apart of this journey! This will be the best season yet!”
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