First United Bank Boys Athlete of the Week: Isaac McGill, Amarillo High

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Isaac McGill, Amarillo High cross country, Sr.

On the course: After finishing in the top 10 in last year’s Class 5A state meet at Round Rock’s Old Settler’s Park, McGill was on a mission to bring at least a medal back home last Friday. McGill showed his intentions rather quickly, as after the first mile he held a one-second lead over defending state champion Walker St. John of Grapevine. St. John did take the lead about a half-mile later and held it for the rest of the way to win the gold. But McGill wouldn’t go away, as he took silver with a time of 15 minutes and 10 seconds, surviving an especially packed top four to win a medal and finish only 3.4 seconds behind St. John, far exceeding his ninth place finish last year. McGill led Amarillo High to a top 10 team finish, as AHS had 244 points, one point ahead of San Antonio Alamo Heights, to secure a spot in the top 10.

Coach Jacob Dawson: “Expected is probably an accurate word. We knew that just from the progress he’d made over the past couple of years plus the way he works. With the ninth place finish last year we knew it was a very realistic possibility just with the intentions he works with, we knew that a top three finish was very, very achievable. For those of us who see how he works every day, it was one of those deals where you were excited obviously, but it’s not a surprise. The guy’s a worker so a lot of it was him continue to be intentional about what he does to be successful. He knew exactly what the plan was he needed to follow and he stuck to it to a T. We knew that if he stuck to it the progress would show and it did. His expectations were high and our expectations were high so this being his senior year there was a sense of his getting top three, so if he had not there would have been some disappointment.”

McGill: “It was a goal to win from the beginning so (a silver medal) was a bit of a disappointment immediately after the race, but I think it was a hard-fought race. I gave it my best. I was puking after it and I was dead after it. I think what changed this season was going into it I was the fourth best returner (in the state) so I got past two guys and I’m happy with that. I think I improved a lot because last year I was 25 seconds away from (St. John) and this year I was only three. It was the race plan to be up with that guy the whole time. We were the two strongest runners in the state. It went out slower than I thought so I took the lead at the mile. He’s got a great kick and he can close really fast. I was pretty happy with it.”

About McGill

Favorite band or musician: Machine Gun Kelly

Favorite social media platform: Instagram

Favorite athlete: Craig Engels

Bet you didn’t know: Says he’s a crazy car singer

Parents: Curtis McGill and Brandi Reed

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