AUGUSTA, Kan. — Micah Blomker was determined not to fall short of the ultimate prize for a second-straight year.
He did that by taking out in the lead and never looking back Saturday at the 4 Mile Creek Resort. Blomker ran with a small pack of two other runners before whittled down to just him and Wyatt Haughton for a bit.
Eventually, it was just Blomker running by himself. The remainder of the Class 6A boys state race was Blomker running solo all the way across the finish line in 15:25.3 – 15 seconds ahead of Haughton, a Shawnee Mission East junior who earned his first state medal.
Blomker, a Shawnee Mission North sophomore, became the first Bison to win an individual state title since Asher Molina won the 2018 championship at the Rim Rock Farm north of Lawrence, Kansas.
“This means a lot,” Blomker said. “I got second at state in 4A last year as a freshman. In the spring, I got second in the two mile. I definitely really wanted to win this. I knew this course could be a course to my advantage, because it had points where I could try to outlast guys. I’m just really happy with it.”
Blomker entered Saturday as the favorite after winning his regional and having posted the fastest time in the state all season. Yet, he didn’t want to leave Augusta with a silver medal like he did a year ago in Wamego.
His freshman season ended with a runner-up finish at the Class 4A meet. Blomker ran for Bishop Miege last year, and he was beaten by Hayden’s Tanner Newkirk by four seconds for the title.
Blomker changed schools and in doing so, moved up two classes in competition. In the spring, he was running for SM North. He placed second in the 3,200-meter run and fourth in the 1,600-meter run at the 6A state track meet.
This fall began with a close loss to St. Thomas Aquinas senior Logan Seger, who became the 5A state champion Saturday. Blomker’s only other losses were a runner-up finish at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational and a runner-up finish to Haughton at the Sunflower League meet.
Blomker bested Haughton the final two meets of the season after that loss at the league meet. All of his times were under 16 minutes, with his personal record being set at 14:57 at the Olathe Twilight Invitational on Sept. 11.
“When I broke 15, after that I got sick and my leg was messed up,” Blomker said. “For a whole month there, I was not running where I wanted to be. I felt like I had lost so much. I felt like I lost a step. At regionals, I kind hit my groove again, and that gave me confidence to finish out the year strong.”
His time Saturday might not have been his best of the season, but Blomker did what he needed to do to win. He pushed the pace early, and maintained it throughout the 5K course. It was the same strategy he used the week prior.
“The plan was to get out hard and make the other guys hurt, so I could outlast them,” Blomker said. “I feel like that was my strength, and that’s what I did.”
Like many other top runners in the area, Blomker isn’t finished with his cross country season quite yet. He will be participating in some elite meets coming up later this month. He aims to drop his time at those meets.
“We’ve got two fast races after this, so those are where I want to run fast times,” Blomker said. “This was was more just about winning. I would have liked to break 15:20, but I’m pretty happy with the win.”
– Story by Jimmy Gillispie