OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Micah Blomker received his Athlete of the Week award right next to the football field where his younger brother was practicing the family's other sport.
"Football and running are the two loves in our family," said Blomker, a Shawnee Mission North cross country runner.
His brother is the starting center for the Bison as a sophomore.
Micah, a senior, is the favorite to win Kansas 6A state title in cross country.
"Winning state as a team is the big one and then individually for me, winning state," said Blomker.
Blomker won the 6A state championship as a sophomore and finished second last year.
He recently won a meet at Oklahoma State University.
"It was a pretty big meet," said Blomker. "I think there were 40-some teams."
The cross county head coach at Shawnee Mission North says Oklahoma State, a power cross country program, is a school where Blomker could run.
"It kind of sent a lot of messages to the coaches out there, especially at the college level, about what he's capable of doing," said SM North cross country coach Michael Pope.
Yet despite dominating his sport, Micah says he almost quite running his junior year.
"I was making running everything and I wasn't finding much joy in it."
It got so bad he became physically ill.
He says he had insomnia and chronic muscle tension and other ailments.
"Throughout the season, kids need to take a break," said Pope. "If they don't take a break, then it kind of puts a little more physical and mental strain on them."
Micah's nine-year-old sister wrote him an inspirational note that motivated him to rededicate himself to the sport.
"She's incredible," Blomker said about his sister. "She inspired me this year."
His sister may be the next state championship-caliber runner in the family.
"She's like a 5:30 miler at nine-years-old," Blomker said. "I want to keep running to inspire her and she inspires me."