Introducing Your MN Boys T&F Athlete of the Year Nominees

From left to right: Juriad Hughes Jr., Tate Nelson, Tobias Williams, and Brian Schloeder


It's been quite the track and field season so far in Minnesota with thousands of athletes competing all over Minnesota, the Midwest, and the United States. With thousands of performances, new records, historic performances, and many breakthrough athletes, it's been a year to remember for track and field in Minnesota. 

Here we look at the 2023 Minnesota Boys Track and Field Nominees for Athlete of the Year. Ten athletes were chosen for their accomplishments during this years indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. Honorable mentions were included to honor those who narrowly missed out on inclusion in our Athlete of the Year poll.

Voting will commence starting at 7 am CST on July 17th and run until July 31st at 8 pm CST. 


2023 Boys Nominees

Bills completed an undefeated campaign in the shot put and discus this past season by winning both events at the Class AAA state meet, leading Rosemount to a state title as a team. Bills set a state record at the meet, winning the discus by 34 feet with a throw of 207 feet even, which ranked No. 3 nationally among prep competitors in 2023. Bills also set a state record in the shot put at the True Team Championships by putting up a mark of 66-8.75, which ranked No. 4 nationally. At the end of the season Bills was named the Gatorade Minnesota Player of the Year. 

Noah Breker

Breker kept up the momentum from the cross country season and finished his senior season strong by breaking the State Meet Record in the 3200m, running a time of 8:51.44, which is the 2nd fastest 3200m time in state history (not including converted 2-mile times). Breker also finished 2nd at the state meet in the 1600m with a time of 4:11.42, finished 3rd at Nike Outdoor Nationals in the 3000m, and finished 9th in the 2-mile and 5th in the 3000m at New Balance Indoor Nationals.  

Juriad Hughes Jr.

Hughes season is not quite over as the last man standing from Minnesota is heading to the Pan American U20 Championships next month representing the US in the long jump. With his jumps of 24' 11", he has set both the Minnesota indoor and outdoor records for the long jump. The previous indoor record was 23' 1" set by Josh Peter in 2016 and the previous outdoor record was 24' 9.25 set by Von Shepard in 1982. Alongside breaking the Minnesota state records, Hughes Jr. set a new junior class record in Minnesota, ranked #5 nationally for the 2023 outdoor season, ranks tied for 32nd all-time for U.S. junior boys all-time, and won both Nike Indoor and Outdoor Nationals titles in the long jump. 

Brandon Kampsen

Kampsen capped off his high school career by going perfect his senior season in all competitions during the cross country and track seasons. This spring, Kampsen won eight 800m races and ten 1600m races after winning eleven races last fall. Kampsen capped off his high school career by winning the Class A 800m and 1600m titles, winning the 800m title by three seconds and the 1600m title by 1.4 seconds. 

Tate Nelson

One of the standout athletes in Class A this season and at the state meet, Nelson won 11 individual event titles over the course of the season and ended his sophomore season on a high note with state titles in the 100m dash and long jump. Nelson also finished 2nd in the 200m at the state meet. 

Tyler Gunnarson

Gunnarson broke all kinds of records in 2023, breaking the state records held by his brother Peyton Gunnarson in the 100m, 200m, and 400m wheelchair events. After finishing his sophomore track and field season, Tyler now owns the state records in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 3200m. He also won four state titles for Class A in the 100m, 200m, 800m, and discus. 

Harlow Tong

Tong ended his junior season on a high note and showed that he might be a force to be reckoned with in 2024 after finishing the season with a 1st place finish in the 400m, a 2nd place finish in the 100m, and a 9th place finish in the 200m at the state meet. Tong went undefeated in 400m finals this season and ended up with a Minnesota #14 all-time time of 47.84 in the 400m. Tong also ran a Minnesota #18 time in the 200m this season with a time of 21.47. In the Indoor season, Tong broke the Minnesota state record for the indoor 200m with a time of 22.83. 

Tobias Williams

Williams qualified for the State Championships in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4x100m. He came away from those races with a win in the 100m with a wind-aided time of 10.47, a #2 MN all-time time of 41.28 in the 4x100m prelims with Minnetonka, a 2nd place finish overall in the 4x100m, and a 2nd place finish in the 200m. Williams also competed at New Balance Nationals Indoor, where he finished 11th in the Rising Stars 60m semi-finals. 

Brian Schloeder

The top pole vaulter in Class AA this season, Schloeder won both the Class AA state title and the Hamline Elite Meet title this season. Schloeder also became just the fourth Minnesota boys pole vaulter to break the 16 feet barrier (Nathan Nelson also went over 16 feet after Schloeder). Schloeder lost only one pole vault competition all season. Apart from the pole vaulting, Schloeder also finished 10th at the state meet in the 100m for Class AA, won his conference long jump title, and ranked as the #23 long jumper in Class AA. 

Bryce Stachewicz

Stachewicz may not have run many individual races in 2023, but when he did they counted. Stachewicz went undefeated in his eight 800m and 1600m races and won the 1600m Class AAA title at the state meet, ran a top-ten 1600m time all-time at the Section 1AAA Championships, and won the Hamline Elite Meet. With his Lakeville North teammates, Stachewicz won the 4x400m state meet title and also broke the 4x800m state record with a time of 7:36.46. 

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Casey, Cameron Stocke, RJ Sylak, Tayven Peterson, Emmett Gerres, Vincenzo Miller, Devin Jordan, Nathan Nelson, Richlu Tudee