Noah Breker's "soil" record was set at a farm but otherwise has zero to do with agriculture.

Breker, a senior distance-running standout for Robbinsdale Armstrong, recorded the fastest cross-country race time for a Minnesota high school athlete at a meet within the state's borders.

Blazing to a finish in 14 minutes, 57.20 seconds on Sept. 9 at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista made Breker just the fourth high school male to go sub-15 minutes in a 5,000-meter race held in Minnesota.

And he predicted it. Breker spoke immediately after winning the St. Olaf Showcase on Sept. 1 about setting the record at Gale Woods Farm the following week.

"I always set pretty high goals, and I've proven that I can hit them," Breker said. "So, in my mind, there's nothing stopping me."

Not even a slow start.

"I was way behind pace for most of that race," Breker said. "The first 800 meters or so at Gale Woods Farm are uphill, and the pack went out slower than expected. I heard my first mile split was 4:58 and I said to myself, 'Dang it. I'm way off.'"

Same story at Mile 2, when he posted a 4:47.

Breker responded by closing fast. His turned the final mile in 4:40, fast enough to better Obsa Ali of Richfield's previous best for a Minnesota high school runner competing on local soil by three-tenths of a second.

"I pushed myself to get there," Breker said.

He got there faster than many of his contemporaries. Breker ranks fifth all-time among Minnesota high school runners. The top three, Seth Eliason, Alex Miley and Khalid Hussein, all posted their best times at Nike Regional meets in mid-November 2016 or 2017 in South Dakota. Mounds View's Elliott McArthur, also a senior this season, took the fourth spot last December in Alabama at the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships.

For his efforts, Breker earned a spot in the MileSplit National Performer of the Week poll for the second time in as many weeks. He finished second last week.

Looking ahead, Breker faces a few remaining distance-running challenges. First, redemption. Breker placed second at the Class 3A cross-country state meet last November. Second, he must defend his Class 3A 3,200-meter crown at the track and field state meet in June.

Those performances last season earned Breker the 2021-22 Gatorade Minnesota Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year honors. He said he remains undecided on his college plans until "finishing up my last few visits. I'm hoping to commit somewhere in early October."


By the Minnesota Cross Country Coaches Association


Class 3A

Teams: 1. Lakeville North; 2. Wayzata; 3. Rosemount; 4. Minneapolis Washburn; 5. Minnetonka; 6. Mounds View; 7. Minneapolis Southwest; 8. Stillwater; 9. Eden Prairie; 10. Edina.

Individuals: 1. Noah Breker, Armstrong; 2. Nick Gilles, Minnetonka; 3. Sam Scott, Minneapolis Southwest; 4. Aidan Jones, Minneapolis Washburn; 5. Elliot McArthur, Mounds View; 6. Andrew Casey, Lakeville North; 7. Hootie Hage, Prior Lake; 8. Adam Lueth, Bloomington Jefferson; 9. Will Harder, Rosemount; 10. Nolan Sutter, Chaska.

Class 2A

Teams: 1. Mankato East; 2. Worthington; 3. St. Paul Highland Park; 4. Rock Ridge; 5. Big Lake; 6. Monticello; 7. Delano; 8. Belle Plaine; 9. Marshall; 10. St. Paul Como Park.

Individuals: 1. Emmett Gerres, Belle Plaine; 2. Cameron Stocke, Rock Ridge; 3. Sal Wirth, Annandale; 4. Charlie Power-Theisen, St. Paul Como Park; 5. Isaiah Anderson, Mankato East; 6. Noah Mahoney, Monticello; 7. Mikele Walu, Worthington; 8. Soren Bortnem, Dassel-Cokato; 9. Sully Anez, Willmar; 10. Vincent Kaluza, Rocori.

Class 1A

Teams: 1. Perham; 2. Park Rapids Area; 3. Luverne; 4. St. Cloud Cathedral; 5. Heritage Christian; 6. Staples-Motley; 7. Nova Classical; 8. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin; 9. St. John's Prep; 10. Redwood Valley.

Individuals: 1. Henry Karelitz, Nova Classical; 2. Brandon Kampsen, Sauk Centre; 3. Noah Foster, Cromwell-Wright; 4. Garrison Hubka, Kingsland; 5. Will Ahrens, Redwood Valley; 6. Bjorn Anderson, Perham; 7. Josiah DeMaris, Madelia; 8. Owen Janiszeski, Luverne; 9. Camden Janiszeski, Luverne; 10. Ryan Pierson, Butterfield-Odin


Class 3A

Teams: 1. Wayzata; 2. Minnetonka; 3. Edina; 4. Farmington; 5. Hopkins; 6. Prior Lake; 7. (tie) Mounds View and St. Michael-Albertville; 9. Centennial; 10. Bloomington Jefferson.

Individuals: 1. Abbey Nechanicky, Wayzata; 2. Sydney Drevlow, Hopkins; 3. Marissa Long, Chanhassen; 4. Norah Hushagen, Forest Lake; 5. Taylor Isabel, Mounds View; 6. Madaline Lage, Waconia; 7. Megan Lee, Bloomington Jefferson; 8. Claire Vukovics, Lakeville South; 9. Claire Cashman, Minnetonka; 10. Abigail Tri, Rochester John Marshall.

Class 2A

Teams: 1. St. Paul Highland Park; 2. Marshall; 3. Willmar; 4. Becker; 5. Mankato East; 6. Monticello; 7. Mankato West; 8. Alexandria; 9. Hibbing; 10. Benilde-St. Margaret's.

Individuals: 1. Isabelle Schmitz, Hutchinson; 2. Vivienne Larson, Benilde-St. Margaret's; 3. Olivia Goebel, Albany; 4. Luna Scorzelli, St. Paul Highland Park; 5. Calia Chaney, Pequot Lakes; 6. Macy Hanson, Fairmont; 7. Isabel Mahoney, Monticello; 8. Erin Eilers, Willmar; 9. Natasha Sortland, Zumbrota-Mazeppa; 10. Allyson Sample, Marshall.

Class 1A

Teams: 1. St. Cloud Cathedral; 2. Perham; 3. Staples-Motley; 4. Murray County Central/Fulda; 5. Luverne; 6. Minnewaska Area; 7. Winona Cotter; 8. Lake City; 9. Canby; 10. Wadena-Deer Creek.

Individuals: 1. Amanda Overgaauw, Murray County Central/Fulda; 2. Jade Rypkema, Nevis; 3. Kyanna Burton, Staples-Motley; 4. Ashley Overgaauw, Murray County Central/Fulda; 5. Jenna Debates, Luverne; 6. Anjalie Aho, United North Central; 7. Grace Morris, Perham; 8. Audrey Brownell, Staples-Motley; 9. Kaylee Walkin, Windom Area; 10. Olivia Pauly, St. John's Prep.