From left to right: Sam Scott, Robert Mechura, and Luke William (Photos by Rachel Eickhoff-Gross)
It was a light week in Minnesota last week with fewer meets than usual, but a big one in that the annual Roy Griak Invitational brought together the best of the Midwest and Minnesota together on the big stage. Last week we had breakthrough performances, history was made, and records were broken.
Here we look at the Minnesota Boy's Runner of the Week Nominees for Week 5 of the cross country season.
Polling starts on Monday at 7 am and ends on Saturday at 7 pm.
Boys Runner of the Week Nominees
Robert Mechura (Roseville)
A junior at Roseville, Mechura improved drastically from last year's Roy Griak where he ran a time of 16:34.40 to finish 31st to a 3rd place finish this year with a time of 15:28.1. Mechura also beat the old course record set by Obsa Ali in 2013 with his time. Mechura also ran the fastest time by a junior in Roy Griak meet history. The old record was held by Olin Hacker.
Sam Scott (Minneapolis Southwest)
Scott finished in the top five at the Griak for the third year in a row after winning in 2021, finishing 5th last year, and finishing 2nd this year. Scott ran a time of 15:25.7 to finish only behind Clay Shively, breaking the old course record in the process.
Luke Williams (White Bear Lake)
Williams ran in the boy's Maroon race at Roy Griak where he finished 3rd overall with a time of 16:41.5 to help lead the White Bear Lake boys the the boys Maroon team title. This is the first year since 2016 that a Minnesota boy's team has won the Maroon race. Williams improved on his 12th-place finish from last year in the same race.
Erik Semling (Cotter)
An eighth-grader at Cotter, Erik Semling had the highest finish of any middle-school boy in any of the three boy's races with his 14th place finish in the Maroon race with a time of 17:32.20. Semling was the only middle-school boy to run under 18 minutes and ran the 6th fastest time at Griak by an 8th-grade boy all-time.
Aidan Gomes (Andover)
Gomes was the varsity champion at the Tom Watson Mustang Invitational where he ran a time of 15:56.60 to beat out the runner-up by 4 seconds. This is the third time in his career and this season that Gomes has broken the 16-minute barrier for the 5K. Gomes improved on his 4th-place finish from the same meet last year.
Sully Anez (Willmar)
After finishing 3rd in 2022 and 2nd in 2021, Anez finally broke through with a win at the Rocori Invitational for the first time and his first win of the season. Anez ran a time of 16:02.20 to win by 29 seconds. Anez currently ranks #3 in Class AA for the 5K this season.
Week 3: Austin Liebl