Your Prep Sports
It was a historic season for cross country in the Your Prep Sports area.
After one of the best seasons ever for area runners the 2021 Your Prep Sports area boys cross country team honors seven of those athletes for their performances this fall.
This year’s team is made up of runners from four different schools and features conference champions, a state qualifying meet champ and five state medalists.
West High senior Alex McKane is the captain of the 2021 team after closing a stellar career with a runner-up finish at the Class 4A state meet.
McKane won titles at the MVC Super Meet and Divisional meet before posting claiming a second consecutive state meet medal with his runner-up finish.
Senior, West High
McKane capped a brilliant prep career with a stellar senior season that concluded with a runner-up finish at the Class 4A state meet.
A four-time state qualifier, McKane followed a steady ascent into become one of the elite runners in the state going from 68th at the state meet as a freshman and 32nd as a sophomore to back-to-back state medalist performances.
McKane won Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet and Valley Divisional titles before finishing runner-up to Jackson Heidesch of West Des Moines Dowling at both the 4A state qualifying meet and 4A state meet.
The time of 15:30.65 McKane clocked at the state meet was nearly 45 seconds faster than his state meet time as a junior in 2020 when he finished 11th.
Junior, City High
Another area runner that has continued to climb toward the top of Class 4A Washburn notched a second consecutive top-six finish at the state meet placing fourth in a time of 15:32.88.
Already a three-time state qualifier Washburn has finished in the top 20 at state in each of the past three seasons.
After placing 20th as a freshman Washburn was sixth as a sophomore and took more than 38 seconds off his state meet time from 2020 in his fourth-place finish last month.
Washburn was second to McKane at the MVC Super Meet and won titles as the MVC Mississippi Divisional and Class 4A state qualifier.
Junior, City High
Among the most improved runners on the City High team Smith took a big stride forward in 2021 and was key in helping the Little Hawks to a Class 4A third-place team finish.
Smith secured the first state medal of his career in his second trip to the state meet placing 11th overall in a time of 16:06.13.
The 11th place finish for Smith came after he placed 108th in a time of 17:51.1 in his state meet debut last season.
Smith was eighth at the MVC Super Meet and sixth at the Mississippi Divisional meet before finishing seventh at the 4A state qualifier.
Junior, West High
Cheney put the exclamation point on a breakthrough season with a top-25 finish in his state meet debut after missing the state meet a year ago.
In his first trip to Fort Dodge Cheney finished 25th at the 4A state meet in a time of 16:31.86 to help West High to an eighth-place team finish.
Cheney was 10th at the MVC Super Meet and added fifth-place finishes at both the MVC Valley Divisional and 4A state qualifier before his strong finish at the state meet.
After bursting onto the scene with a strong freshman campaign Kabela was even better as a sophomore while earning the first state meet medal of his career.
As a freshman Kabela was 11th at the WAMAC meet and 10th at the state qualifier before placing 26th at the 3A state meet.
This fall Kabela finished fourth at both the WAMAC Conference and 3A state qualifying meets and secured his first state medal with a 14th place performance in a time of 16:35.76 to help Solon to a fifth-place team finish at the 3A state meet.
In his first season of varsity cross country O’Neil made a major impact for Regina helping the Regals return to the state meet for the first time since 2015.
O’Neil emerged early as a front of the pack runner for the Regals and showed he could compete with the best in the state with a fourth-place finish at the River Valley Conference meet.
The sophomore earned his first career win at the Class 1A state qualifier and became the first Regina individual medalist since 2016 when he finished 14th at the 1A state meet in 17:01.61.
Junior, City High
Thompson was solid for City High all season and posted a second consecutive top-30 finish at the state meet to help the Little Hawks to its best team finish since 2008.
Part of a quartet of talented juniors in the City High lineup, Thompson was 11th at the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Divisional meet and fourth at the 4A state qualifier.
Thompson concluded the season placing 29th overall at the state meet in a time of 16:35.14.