East Mountain High School recently named Amira McKee as the new head coach of the Timberwolves cross country team. She replaces Sam Slaven, who was hired last fall but left for personal reasons.

“Sam wasn’t able to continue and Amira was going to assist with track this spring, so we asked her to step in since we were in a predicament,” East Mountain athletic director Kasi Giovenco said.

McKee, a 2015 graduate from East Mountain and a two-sport standout in both cross country and track, also achieved success at Lubbock Christian University in Texas.

At East Mountain, when she was Amira Cunningham, she won three individual distance running state titles: the gold medal in the 3,200-meter race at the 2013 Class 2A track and field state championships, and gold medals in both the 3,200m and the 1,600m races at the 4A state championships during her senior year. She was also a member of East Mountain’s 2013 girls cross country Class 2A state champion team.

After high school, Amira married fellow East Mountain graduate and distance runner, Alex McKee, and took her distance-running career to the next level, competing in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track for Lubbock Christian.

At LCU, McKee became the university’s first All-Conference track performer in 2017 and repeated the accomplishment in 2018 and 2019.

She won the 2018 Lone Star Conference indoor 3K and indoor 5K titles, as well as the Lone Star Conference outdoor 5K title; she also won the 2019 LSC outdoor 3K Steeplechase—an obstacle race with barriers, hurdles, and a water pit.

McKee won the 2018 Heartland Conference individual title, and in 2019, she won the Lone Star Conference individual title and helped lift her team to a conference championship.

In December 2019, McKee was named the Lone Star Conference Female Runner of the Year, the first Lubbock Christian runner to be selected for the award, according to the LCU athletics website.

She said she was very happy to come back to East Mountain and take the helm of the cross country team.

“I like cross country coaching, I like cross country running, it’s great,” McKee said, adding, “Everybody’s been showing up and putting in the work, so I have no doubt that they’ll run well.”

The Timberwolves kick off their cross country season—their first meet since November 2019—at home on March 8.