Noah Breker Looks Forward to the Challenge of Serbia


Former Robbinsdale Armstrong and current University of North Carolina freshman Noah Breker got a hot start to his 2024 with his 3rd place finish at the USATF Cross Country U20 Championships this year, booking himself a trip to worlds in the process. 

Related:  Breker and Jones Shine at USATF U20 XC Championships

Here we caught up with Breker to talk about his XC Championships, his freshman year at the University of North Carolina, his future, and more!


What was your race strategy going into the USATF Cross Country U20 Championships and what were your personal goals for the race?

Qualifying for U20 Worlds was one of my largest goals coming into my freshman year of college. I had planned it with my coach since I got to school. Knowing that, I trained with the intention and expectation of doing well there. All I had to do on race day was relax, trust in myself and my coaches, and be willing to fully commit when it got hard. Since there was no reason to go for fast times, I just played it safe in the middle of the pack and then closed it down the last kilometer.

What was it like racing against some of the best young runners in the country?

A lot of fun! It had been over a year since I had run my last cross-country race which was Footlocker Nationals last December against some of the same guys. I'm a big believer in competition bringing out the best in us so it's always exciting to race against the best.

You finished 3rd, with Aidan Jones right behind you. What was it like racing again against one of your main competitors from high school?

Proud to see more Minnesota blood going to Serbia. Aidan and I have always been friendly competitors. He definitely motivates me to do my best while racing.

With your 3rd place finish, you qualified for the World U20 XC Championships in Belarus, Serbia. Do you plan on attending?

Of course, my goal was not only to qualify but to qualify and go compete even harder against an even higher level of competition. I am beyond excited for the trip!

What are your pre-race training plans and what are your goals for the race?

Given that they pushed the race back to March 30th, I've got plenty of time to get solid training in before then. I took a quick down week after USATF U20s and then got right back to it. After a small rough patch this past fall, I've been doing some of the best training I've ever had so I'm looking forward to seeing how I can perform at worlds. I also wouldn't mind seeing a Team USA podium again... That would be awesome.

How do you plan on using this momentum and translating that onto the track for this indoor and outdoor seasons?

I'll most likely be racing a small indoor 3k unattached between now and worlds just to get the legs spinning and work on some speed. Afterward, outdoor is pretty much up in the air at the moment but I definitely plan on keeping my momentum and running some fast 5k's.

You are nearing the end of your true freshman season at the University of North Carolina, how has your first year in college been?

Not perfect as I was hoping to compete for the team in the cross-country season. Despite that I still trained well, learned a lot, and grew a ton as a runner and a person in general. I'd still say I've had pretty a successful first year so far. Coach Miltenburg is everything I had hoped for coming here. I fully trust that he will help me succeed in the future.

What goals do you have for the future as a Tar Heel?

I am fully committed to giving my heart and soul to my running career here at UNC. Of course, I have large goals of chasing fast times and winning big titles but at the end of the day, I want to leave here knowing that I gave everything I could towards running, regardless of the results I attain.