A Star is Born: Hushagen Narrowly Wins NXR Heartland Title



Forest Lake's Norah Hushagen added another title to her collection this fall after narrowly defeating Katelyn Rupe at the 2023 NXR Heartland Regional in South Dakota. 

Hushagen was able to fend off a strong challenge at the line from Katelyn Rupe to win the girl's championship title with a time of 17:07.30, just ahead of Rupe with 17:07.60. 

The 2023 Class AAA state champion from Minnesota, Hushagen came into the Heartland Regional on a heater having won five straight races. In those five races, Hushagen won by 33 seconds, 54 seconds, 34 seconds, 44 seconds, and 66 seconds. In short, Hushagen has dominated in Minnesota ever since finishing 3rd at Roy Griak. 

With her win at the Heartland Regional, Hushagen set a new personal best 5K time by 10 seconds over her Heartland Regional time from 2022, set a new Minnesota #1 time for 2023, and now ranks as the #9 runner in Minnesota state history for the 5K. 

All-Time Minnesota Top-Ten 5K Times

1Analee Weaver16:42.60
2Abbey Nechanicky16:43.70
3Tierney Wolfgram16:48.67
4Emily Covert16:55.71
5Anna Fenske17:00.40
6Ali Weimer17:03.30
7Bethany Hasz17:06.00
8Maria Hauger17:07.00
9Norah Hushagen17:07.30
10Lauren Ping17:07.72


Hushagen's time of 17:07.30 is the fourth fastest by a Minnesota junior girl all-time only behind Emily Covert, Bethany Hasz, and Tierney Wolfgram. Hushagen will come back in fall of 2024 with a Class AAA MSHSL title, a Heartland title, and valuable national experience that she will still pick up this season.

The question now? How will she follow this up next year...