GNK’s Geno Uhrbom Ready for Final High School Season
The senior completed the triple crown of distance running his sophomore season and is currently the two-time defending cross country class A champion.
NASHWAUK, Minn. – Becoming a competitive runner started simply for Geno Uhrbom.
“About 5th grade, I was bored one day and I just went up and down my driveway and ever since then I just kept running,” Uhrbom said.
“I’ve coached Geno since sixth grade when kids said ‘hey this kid’s fast and we need to talk to him.’ We were lucky enough to pry him away from the grasp of the football career that wouldn’t have been what this is,” Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin cross country head coach Will Floersheim said.
Uhrbom has now become one of the top runners in the entire state. The GNK senior has been to the state meet every year since the 7th grade, has multiple section titles under his belt and won his first class A state title his sophomore season.
“I really can’t explain it. It’s more of a ‘wow, I really did this.’ At the beginning of the year I said ‘I’m going to try to win state this year’ and I went out there and it worked out,” Uhrbom said.
He then went on to complete the triple crown of distance running, winning the 1600 and 3200 meter track titles the following June.
“Part of his success, where it comes from, is he’s been laser focused on what it takes to do the things he’s done,” Floersheim said.
He was well on his way to doing it his junior season as well, winning the class A cross country once again this past November.
“There was a lot of pressure but when it came to race day, I knew that I was in shape and I just thought if I go out there and just run my race, I can pull away and hold that until the end,” Uhrbom said.
But then the coronavirus pandemic canceled his track season this spring.
“He probably, minus COVID, might have been one of the more decorated high school athletes we’ve ever seen,” Floersheim added.
And while this postseason is still unknown, Uhrbom has goals of winning a third straight class A title this fall, but he also hopes to compete at the Division I level someday.
“Small schools in Northern Minnesota like this, you see kids like this come through once a decade, maybe once in a career for some of us and he’s earned it,” Floersheim said.
Even if he can’t defend his state title, he still has his track season in the spring to look forward to. And whenever that final race happens, Uhrbom can look back feeling accomplished, and is excited for his future.
“Bittersweet but it’s also page turning to the next chapter. It will be sad but also happy at the same time that I can move on to something new,” Uhrbom said.