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DFJ BOYS TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETE OF THE DECADE: KEAGAN PARKS

Keagan Parks (left) and Cal Zahn celebrate Webster City's Class 3A 4x100-meter state title in 2012. A three-time state champion, Parks is the Daily Freeman-Journal's Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Decade.

Webster City wasn’t the favorite to win the Class 3A 4×100-meter relay in 2012. Far from it, in fact. But the Lynx had Keagan Parks, and that was the difference. Pushing him as far back as possible so that he could take the baton for the anchor leg only one step into the exchange zone was tricky and potentially catastrophic, but WCHS pulled it off. He seized the baton in third or fourth place, but by the time he reached the middle of the final straightaway, he’d left everyone in the dust. The rest, as they say, is history.

Parks was a generational talent, and now he’s the Daily Freeman-Journal’s Male Track and Field Athlete of the Decade.

If it’s possible for a sprinter to run with both power and finesse, Parks pulled it off.

In April of 2012, the then WCHS senior reached the Drake Relays finals in the 100-meter dash and placed fourth against the best the state had to offer. One month later, he claimed Class 3A state titles in the 100 and 200, besting North Central Conference rival Brandon Norman of Iowa Falls-Alden in both.

In all, Parks was either fully or partially responsible for 35 of the Lynx 481⁄3 team points, which vaulted the squad into the runner-up spot in the final 3A standings.

Parks completed his prep career with six state medals, including a bronze in the 100 as a junior to go with the three golds from 2012.

Just how athletic was Parks? It was the rare occasion that he was entered into the long jump during the regular season. But even with minimal practice or experience, he was still a showstopper. On raw ability, he surged past 21 feet at state in 2011 and 2012, and placed seventh and fourth, respectively, in 3A.

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