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Published November 04 2010

Clark: Moorhead's Gemar running with a new of purpose

Most high school athletes would be stoked to make it to a state tournament once. Moorhead senior Lukas Gemar is making his fourth trip to the Minnesota state cross country meet Saturday in Northfield.

Gemar went from unknown to well known the last four years. He surprised everyone when he won the meet as a sophomore.

These days, there’s very little Gemar can say or do that’s surprising. At last week’s Section 8 cross country meet in Fergus Falls, there was chatter every time he went by someone.

“Isn’t that the really fast kid from Moorhead?” one on-looker asked.

His 16-minute, 4-second winning time in the 5,000-meter run indicated he is the “really fast kid from Moorhead.”

Being one of Minnesota’s fastest teenagers has made so many things a blur for Gemar. On Monday, he slowed down to recall his previous experiences at the state meet.

Here are Gemar’s thoughts on his first three meets and what he expects on Saturday, his last state meet.

E On his freshman year when he finished 57th: “It was just simply a learning experience. State is so much different than any other race. There are a lot of elite runners and they all go really fast. You learn how to jostle and find our position on the course.”

E On his sophomore year, the year he won state: “My favorite thing that year was going trick or treating the night before. The state meet was Nov. 1 and on that Friday, we were in the Cities and we went trick or treating near some of the neighborhoods.

“I was not really nervous because I knew I had a chance to win. Just that fact alone excited me. The race unfolded and I was able to take the lead between the mile and two-mile mark.”

E On his junior year when he broke a bone in his foot during the race: “I was right in it for two miles and at the time, I didn’t know what happened but I dropped off the pace. I was limping on it and I thought, ‘I’ll be better on Monday.’ It wasn’t. Last year was not the greatest race for me.”

This year, Gemar can be different. He’s taken his experiences and tried to put them to use. Another thing that makes his last trip so unique is the Moorhead boys team has a strong chance at winning state.

“With my experience having won individually, what I have learned is it’s more fun to win with a team,” Gemar said. “Going into this race, individually, yes, I have a chance, but I am excited for what our team could do, too.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548 or at rclark@forumcomm.com