The Top 12 Boys To Watch At the NXR Heartland Region

11. Merga Gemeda, Sioux City North (IA)
It's hard to believe Gemeda finished fifth in his own state meet -- despite being in a stacked field. But he has a chance to crack the top 10 here at NXR Heartland. With many athletes from Iowa not attending, more spots are up for grabs.

Between this year and the last, Gemeda has run a PR to open the season and was eventually ousted by close to a minute at districts, where he ran 15:26 to take second to Carmody.

Earlier in the season, Gemeda got a chance to run against competition at the Heartland Classic and he will likely see the same runners again. At that same meet, he ran 16:26, which was a time good enough for a 10th place finish.

With his consistency and recent strong showings, Gemeda could be on the verge of a breakout race.