Your Prep Sports
FORT DODGE – For five months Alex McKane envisioned the final race of his illustrious prep cross country career.
The West High senior ran through the race at the 4A state cross country meet in his head thousands of time.
“I’ve been thinking about this day since June,” McKane said. “I’ve been training with this in my mind.”
McKane got everything correct in his mind. Everything but the final few meters.
West Des Moines Dowling junior Jackson Heidesch passed McKane in the final 500 meters on Friday to win the Class 4A state title in a time of 15:24.37.
McKane was runner-up in 15:30.65 more than two seconds in front of third-place Gabe Nash of Sioux City North.
“It was about right, I was really accurate,” McKane said of his thoughts about the race. “I knew a move would come, it came with about 500 left, and that’s exactly what happened it just didn’t play out exactly how I would have liked it.”
McKane battled Heidesch and City High junior Ford Washburn stride for stride over the first two miles.
Little separated those three and Nash for a majority of the five-kilometer race.
It was Heidesch, who finished in front of McKane at the state qualifier last week who made a move late.
“Going up the last hill a little gap formed,” McKane said. “Then going around the turn I knew I was out of kicking range.”
The runner-up finish capped an incredible career and impressive senior season for McKane.
McKane finished 32nd at the state meet as a sophomore before securing his first state medal with an 11th place finish a year ago.
Over the last year McKane established himself as one of the elite runners in the state.
“The funny thing is I don’t think he changed anything at all,” West High coach Josh Kidman said. “He is so consistent and he cares so much about this sport and he didn’t change anything his progression was right there and his practices his preparation is the best I have ever seen.”
The runner-up finish from McKane on Friday was the best for a West High runner since Obsa Taddese was runner-up in 2007.
McKane’s time of 15:30.65 was more than 45 seconds faster than the time he clocked at the state meet a year ago while placing 11th.
“There are no weight classes, no events, you don’t to pick 5K or 10K it’s one event and its everybody in the state and there are some good runners that are at home right now,” Kidman said. “It’s a huge deal to be second. There can only be one winner and that’s the most bold thing is to be the cross country champion and props to
Jackson it’s a huge accomplishment to even be in that top 15. I don’t know how many runner-ups we’ve had but the list isn’t real long.”
The runner-up finish by McKane helped West High to an eighth-place team finish with 200 points.
Behind the title from Heidesch West Des Moines Dowling won the team title with 56 points followed by Sioux City North with 62 and City High with 72.
Seth Cheney placed 19th among team participants for West High in a time of 16:31.86 while senior Caden Noeller was 56th in 17:12.26.
Liberty High finished 12th with 293 points in its third consecutive appearance at the state meet.
Sophomore Aidan Decker finished 42nd overall in a time of 16:51.14 to lead the Lightning while senior Christian Montover was 51st in 16:56.59.
Class 4A State Cross Country Meet
At Lakeside Golf Course
Team scores – 1. West Des Moines Dowling 56; 2. Sioux City North 62; 3. City High 72; 4. Johnston 140; 5. Cedar Falls 158; 6. Norwalk 179; 7. Dubuque Hempstead 196; 8. West High 200; 9. Pleasant Valley 241; 10. Waukee Northwest 254; 11. Urbandale 282; 12. Liberty High 293; 13. Ankeny 299; 14. Ankeny Centennial 307; 15. Cedar Rapids Prairie 333
Individual medalists – 1. Jackson Heidesch (WDD) 15:24.37; 2. Alex McKane (ICW) 15:30.65; 3. Gabe Nash (SCN) 15:32.88; 4. Ford Washburn (ICH) 15:32.88; 5. Will Lohr (SCN) 15:36.71; 6. Jaxson Plump (JON) 15:55.87; 7. Will Ryan (WDD) 15:57.15; 8. Natnael Kifle (SCN) 16:00.39; 9. Hayden Kuhn (Linn-Mar) 16:01.22; 10. Tyler Schwiezer (WDD) 16:06.01; 11. Ammon Smith (ICH) 16:06.13; 12. Brayden Burnett (CF) 16:10.73; 13. Ethan Eichhorn (Council Bluffs Lewis Central) 16:10.89; 14. Carson Owens (Southeast Polk) 16:12.29; 15. Derek Leicht (DH) 16:12.89
City High (72) – 4. Ford Washburn 15:32.88; 10. Ammon Smith 16:06.13; 13. Elliot Dunnwald 16:14.95; 22. Noah Carey 16:34.6; 23. Truman Thompson 16:35.14; 43. Sullivan Hall 16:56.7; 44. Parker Max 16:58.95
West High (200) – 2. Alex McKane 15:30.65; 19. Seth Cheney 16:31.86; 58. Caden Noeller 17:12.26; 60. Moustafa Tiea 17:13.54; 61. Michael Lee 17:14.83; 93. Asher Overholt 18:02.93; 99. Robert Stong 18:26.52
Liberty High (293) – 33. Aidan Decker 16:51.14; 41. Christian Montover 16:56.59; 67. Logan Nelson 17:23.12; 75. Jordan Robinson 17:28.13; 77. Ethan Keeney 17:32.68; 89. Noah Gregoire 17:47.36; 91. Gavin Keeney 17:56.25;