When the voting concluded for the week two Minnesota Boys and Girls Runner of the Week, Marissa Long and Lance Nemecek came out as the winners after almost 7,000 votes were cast.
Each week will there are four boys and four girls for each poll. Participants are based on the MileSplit Minnesota staff's opinions. The rest is up to you!
We caught up with Long and Nemecek to talk about their season, and see how it felt to be voted Minnesota boys and girl runner of the week!
Chanhassen High School
How does it feel to be voted Minnesota Girls Runner of the Week?
Being voted Minnesota Girls Runner of the Week is a great honor. The amount of support I have is unbelievable and this has been an unreal experience for me. A few years ago I would have never thought I would be where I am today.
What has your training been like in preparation for this season?
In preparation for this season, I participated in a summer running program/captain's practices alongside Izzy Roemer and my other teammates. This summer training program had a balance of endurance, tempo, and hill workouts that has really helped to push me to the next level. In addition to running this summer, I also did strength training and cross-training (biking). This balance challenged me and will hopefully help to keep me injury-free.
How has your season been going so far?
This season has been going great for me so far. I have felt stronger than ever before. I have been grateful for every normal opportunity given to us this season since last year was so restricted due to the COVID pandemic. It is nice to be back this year after only being able to do meets with a few teams last year. I am finally feeling the true cross country feeling again, and it is wonderful!
What are some goals you have for the rest of the season?
This season I want to continue to improve physically and mentally by training hard and recovering properly so I can break the 18:00 minute barrier. I would also like to be in the top 25 at the state cross country meet.
What are some goals your team has for this season?
This year we want to continue to build a close bond with each other and grow as a team. We would really love to win our Conference Championship. This will be a challenge, as we have some really tough competition, but I know all the girls have been working hard, and I am confident we can do it!
Mound-Westonka High School
How does it feel to be voted Minnesota Boys Runner of the Week?
It was an honor to be nominated and a surprise to see that I won especially with almost 3000 votes to my name. I never would've expected this to happen my senior season.
Seeing that you have already posted multiple top-five finishes, what kind of training and preparation has gone into this season?
This summer I've trained harder than I ever had before. My team had six running practices a week and on Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays I cross-trained with Nordic skiing. This added up to about 50 hours a month. At first, I thought my coaches were crazy, but halfway into the season, the results are starting to show.
How do you feel your season has been going so far?
This is my best cross country season ever. I had finally broken my 5K PR which I said as a freshman by almost 30 seconds. In the race after that, I ran my second best time ever and took third place. Receiving these top-five finishes is a blessing and it's always a joy to walk to the podium and receive an award.
What are some individual goals you have for the rest of the season?
I have finally overcome a foot injury I was dealing with so one goal is to stay injury-free. Another goal I have is to be named all-conference for the Wright County East and to qualify for state.
Does your team have any big goals for this season?
I am not the only runner on our team who has seen great improvements this year, our top five boys and girls varsity runners have been running unexpectedly fast times. This gives us the chance two win our conference meat and even qualify for state which would be a dream come true for everyone. My coach Butch Humbert has spent the past seven years training me for these last couple of meets, and I would do anything to have him experience our team be more successful than anyone imagined and pull off a state qualification.