After finishing 30th at the IHSA Class 3A state cross country meet a year ago, Nolan McKenna looks primed to better that mark this fall. The Wheaton Warrenville South senior bested the rest of the field at Saturday’s West Chicago regional, topping teammate and runner-up Luke Schroer by 16 seconds. McKenna, the Glen Ellyn Bank & Trust Athlete of the Week, spoke with Suburban Life sports reporter Scott Schmid about his accomplishment and also that of his team, which captured the regional title.
What were your thoughts on how the race played out?
I was very happy with how it played out. I just stuck to the gameplan, which was to run and do my best and show what I can do. I thought I could set a pretty good pace; that is what works best for me. I went out and ran my race. There was a group of four or five of us until three-fourths of a mile was left and then I kind of broke away.
Three of your teammates also finished in the
top-six. Do you guys push each other?
Mentally and physically, we all help each other out on a daily basis. And the team success means a lot more than any individual success ever could. These guys have come such a long way and for me to be a part of that is just an honor.
What are your expectations for the sectional?
Team-wise, we are looking to do our best and hopefully that could mean a sectional title. Individually, I will by trying to do my best, just see what I can do and whatever that leads to. It’s about gearing up for the state meet. It [the sectional] means a lot, but our focus all along has been on the state meet.