your preparatory sport
The 2022 cross-country season was a memorable one for Your Prep Sports.
Four Your Prep Sports Area teams that qualified for state cross country meet at Fort Dodge, and a pair of Area Individual teams with individual medals.
Regina clinched her ninth state title and won the Class 1A team championship for the first time since 2010.
Clear Creek Amana, Solon and City High all performed at the state convention.
The annual Cross Country Team in Your Prep Sports section is a way to honor the runners responsible for this team’s success.
This year’s team of seven is made up of runners from X different schools and is made up of conference and state qualifying meet champions as well as state medalists.
City High senior Ford Washburn is the captain of the 2022 team after completing an impressive preseason career with a third consecutive top 6 finish at the Class 4A state meeting.
Washburn broke City High School’s 2012 record and placed second at the Class 4A state meeting.
Ford Washburn (Captain)
Senior, city high
Already one of the greatest distance runners in State and City High program history, Washburn capped off a brilliant career with a stellar senior season.
Washburn capped his historic senior season with a third consecutive top-six finish at the Class 4A state meeting, finishing second in a time of 15:15.51.
Washburn, a recruit from northern Arizona, broke the City High School record set by Brooke Price in 2012 with a career best of 14:50.49 at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet.
Washburn won titles at both the MVC Super Meet and Valley Divisional Meet, as well as the 4A State Qualifier before taking second place at the state meeting to West Des Moines Dowling senior Jackson Heidesch, who won in a state record time of 14:56.66.
A four-time State qualifier Washburn improved in each of his four appearances at State starting at 20th as a freshman through sixth sophomore and fourth as a junior ahead of his second-place finish that fall, which was the best for a City High runner since 1975.
Washburn’s time of 15:15.51 on the state was more than 17 seconds faster than his time at the 2021 state convention.
The debut season for O’Neil last year was impressive as the standout from Regina won a state medal in his freshman year in cross country.
O’Neil’s encore this fall was even better.
O’Neil reinforced his strong sophomore season with a landmark junior year in which he won a second consecutive state medal and propelled Regina to the Class 1A state title.
In his first-ever cross-country season, O’Neil helped Regina return to the state meet for the first time since 2015, earning a state medal with a 14th finish place.
That fall, O’Neil took things to another level, finishing sixth overall at the Class 1A state meeting in a time of 16:26.85 while helping the Regals win their first state championship since 2010.
O’Neil placed second at the Class 1A State Qualification Meeting.
Sophomore year, West High
A year ago, Tiea showed his impressive potential during a solid freshman season.
This year, Tiea continued to share insights into what makes him one of the most intriguing young runners in the state.
Tiea ended a strong sophomore season with three consecutive top-six finishes at the MVC Super Meet, Divisional Meet and Class 4A State Qualifying Meeting before improving his State Meet finish by 22 spots from his freshman season.
Things came together for Tiea, who finished fourth at the MVC Super Meet, sixth at the MVC Valley Divisional Meeting and fifth at the 4A State Qualifier.
Tiea was 51St at the Class 4A State Meeting in a time of 16:43.5 for 76th placeth as a freshman at the national meeting last season.
Junior, Liberty High
Decker opened the season with a two-time state qualifier and was a big-break candidate.
The Liberty High junior delivered exactly that and booked the best season of an already decorated preparatory career.
Decker finished his career in the best 24th placeth at the Class 4A State Meeting after 36th placeth as a freshman and 42nd as a student in 2021.
Decker’s state meeting time of 16:23.67 was almost 30 seconds faster than his time from last season.
The strong performance at the state meeting followed on from an impressive late-season push by Decker.
Decker posted three consecutive top 10 finishes leading to his strong state meeting finish of 10th placeth at the MVC Super Meet, third at the MVC Mississippi Divisional and ninth at the Class 4A State Qualifying Meeting.
Senior City High
Thompson is an important part of a City High team that has excelled over the past few seasons and ended a strong career with his best season in preparation.
Thompson had top-five finishes at the MVC Super Meet, MVC Divisional Meet, and Class 4A State Qualifier, and helped City High finish seventh at the 4A State Meeting.
Thompson, a three-time state qualifier, finished fifth in both the MVC Super Meet and MVC Valley Divisional and third in the Class 4A state qualifier.
Thompson finished 117thth at the State Meeting of Class 4A.
Kabela, a leader in the Spartan roster since his inaugural season, was strong late in the year, posting a third straight top-26 finish at the Class 3A state meet.
Kabela secured a medal at the WAMAC conference meeting for the third consecutive year with a second consecutive fourth place finish, finishing 11thth at the Class 3A State Qualification Meeting.
He turned 22nd at the Class 3A State Meeting in a time of 16:49.15 to help Solon to an 11th Place team finish.
Sophomore year, Clear Creek Amana
A groundbreaking season from Hilsman was a big reason Clear Creek Amana returned to the Class 3A State Meeting for the first time since 2019.
Hilsman emerged as the front-runner for the Clippers, earning top-10 finishes at the WAMAC conference meeting and the Class 3A state qualifier.
Hilsman finished 30th on his State Meet debutth in a time of 16:59.1.
Hilsman was impressive out on the track.
He finished eighth at the WAMAC Conference Meeting and a week later third at the Class 3A State Qualifying Meeting.
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