One wouldn't have thought that the boy's championship race at the 2023 NXR Heartland Regional couldn't have been closer than the girl's race which was decided by 0.3 seconds...
In one of the closest race finishes in NXR history, Robert Mechura was able to edge out Manny Putz at the line to win the boy's championships by 0.1 seconds with a time of 14:32. It was a great race for Mechura who was 12th at the mile mark, 5th at the 2-mile, and finally 1st at the finish line.
Apart from getting the met victory, Mechura also smashed the Minnesota state record and set a new Heartland Regional meet record.
Mechura broke the Minnesota state record set last year by Noah Breker, also at the Heartland Regional when he ran a time of 14:51. At that same meet, Jackson Heidesch set the previous meet record with a time of 14:39.
In fact, the top four finishers at the meet this year all broke the previous meet record of 14:39.
NXR Heartland Regional Top 5K Times (All-Time)
Apart from the record-breaking performances today, Mechura ran the #2 time nationally this season as of this writing (sans other NXR results).
Mechura smashed Breker's Minnesota state record of 14:51 from last season, while also lowering his personal best 5K time by 32 seconds and became just the 10th Minnesota to run under 15-minutes. Sam Scott and Nolan Sutter also became the 11th and 12th members of that club today.
All-Time Minnesota Boys 5K Times
The scary thing with Mechura running 14:32 is that he is only a junior and will be back next year, presumably faster, stronger, and with more confidence after his performance today.