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Jefferson High's Luke Mest kept PR streak alive at 2023 Governor's Cup

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Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 15, 2023

BOULDER — Montanans and many others from across the nation celebrate both fun and fitness at the annual Governor’s Cup event held in Helena. This year that included Jefferson High standout distance runner Luke Mest.

Mest finished first in the Governor’s cup 5K race last Saturday, setting a new course PR as the leader of the pack and finishing with a winning time of 17:53.70.

“Accounting for the difficulty of this 5K course, that was a big PR for me. It was a great time overall. I competed well, splitting my times well throughout the race, and that’s what I am most proud of about this effort, I think,” he said.

Mest, from Clancy, is coming off helping Jefferson's boys win their third consecutive Class B track and field team championship. At state, Mest finished second in the 3,200 meters (10:02.69) and third in the 1,600 (4:33.22), which was another personal best.

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Luke Mest falls into the arms of Jefferson coach Cody Ottman, right, after winning a race.

“It feels good, particularly this year, because last year while I made it to state, I did not contribute at all. So, it feels good to be a big part of this year,” said Mest.

“The support feels very good, it’s definitely a very tight community, like I’ve had people from Boulder you know, tell me good job and it’s a very good feeling,” he added.

But that's not all.

Mest ran the 5,000-meter race at the Headwaters Invite on Sept. 30, setting a new overall PR at 16:59.0.

“In distance running, working in the offseason will make you exponentially better. And that’s what helped me this year and that’s what will help anybody looking to become good at any part of track,” he said.

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Jefferson High School's Luke Mest speaks at the finish line of the 2023 Governor’s Cup 5K race in Helena.

Only a junior, Luke Mest is a name you’ll start to recognize.

“Going into this next (cross country) I am looking to win in terms of team points overall, and I would also like to try to snag the individual championship for the 5K in cross country, which will be a big effort. It will require improvement and hard work, but I’m willing to shoot for it.”

In track, Mest is only one second away from breaking the 30-plus year Jefferson High record in the 3,200 set by Bryant Samson in 1990.

For Mest, It would mean a lot to break the over three-decade long mark, saying, “It would be an awesome feeling to go down on the record board.”

He also currently sits ninth place in the 800, which his twin sister, Maria has set records in as well.

Mest would like to run at the collegiate level after he graduates from Jefferson High next spring, though he has goals to accomplish before that.

“I haven’t got a college locked down, but I definitely would like to run in college,” he said.