Two of the best cross-country runners to ever come out of Breckenridge High School wrapped up their respective careers at the Minnesota State Cross-Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 3. Breckenridge-Wahpeton Harriers Zach Haire and Hunter Gowin earned All-State honors for the second year in a row, finishing 12th and 25th, respectively.
“It is very rare feat for any athlete in any sport to be a two-time All-State award winner,” BW coach Larry Lasch said. “It is a testament to how talented these two have been the past couple years. Both boys left everything they brought on the course.”
The cloudy race saw 176 runners competing in Northfield, Minnesota. Haire finished in 16:21.4 with Gowin following in 16:40.5. Both of the runners got off to solid starts.
“Zach thought the first mile was crazy fast, he came through the mile mark in 4:58, which put him in about 12th place. He did a great job of maintaining his composure throughout the rest of the race,” Lasch said. “Hunter ran his first mile in 5:10 which put him in a tight pack of runners battling for 25th to 35th place.”
The starts were good, but the finishes were even more impressive. Gowin’s final mile saw him pass multiple runners to swipe the 25th and final All-State spot.
“Zach said his legs were really heavy the last quarter mile, but he trusted his training and focused on good form to complete a great race,” Lasch said. “Hunter had the fight to pass five runners in the last mile. He was able to pass three up a final hill a few meters from the finish to secure the 25th spot. I don’t think either Zach or Hunter could have ran another 100 meters. I am so proud of their efforts.”
Lasch commended his senior leaders for their work ethic throughout their careers. Along with their All-State recognition, the duo also earned All-Conference honors.
Haire won a trio of races this year and finished in the top three of all but one of their races this year.
Gowin, who was the team’s leading runner last season, came back from an injury to get back to an All-State level.
“Hunter came off an injury which ended his track season last spring and limited his summer miles, but his dedicated rehab and gutsy racing down the stretch allowed him to place in the top six off his final five regular season races,” Lasch said.
After their final race, the pair agreed that they helped put BW cross-country on the map.
“The many lonely summer miles, ice-baths, countless 800-meter repeats, weekly races all paid their dividends for the two seniors,” Lasch said. “The accomplishments of Zach and Hunter over the past three seasons have been