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Keahna takes second at Drake Relays

May 7, 2018
By Allison Graham - Inside Iowa Today , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

STC junior, Keith Keahna, has quite literally reached new heights throughout his high school career. Keahna competed at the prestigious Drake Relays on Friday, April 27 at Drake Stadium. He joined 24 of the best high jumpers from across the state of Iowa in his first appearance at the Drake Relays.

"I feel really good. Coming down here for my first Drake Relays and getting second is a big honor," said Keahna.

With the sun shining and blue skies surrounding the stadium the bar was set at an opening height of 6'1. Keahna easily cleared 6'1 on his first attempt. At 6'3 he had his first miss.

Article Photos

ABOVE- STC’s Keith Keahna clears 6’5 at the Drake Relays on Friday, April 27. Keahna placed 2nd in the state in the high jump.

"Before it started I had a little bit of butterflies in my stomach. That always happens when I come down here and jump. But then once you get that first jump in you just settle in. Then I think they came back a little bit when I missed my first jump at 6'3. That's when you start to worry about the tie breakers but then you just gotta take a few breath's, relax and get back into it."

He did just that and cleared 6'3 on his second attempt. He went on to clear 6'5 on his first attempt. Then at 6'7 he missed his first attempt but made it on his second attempt.

"I think it was probably a little bit of distraction. Because from my approach I see a whole bunch of media cameras over there filming me as I jump and that gets in my head a little bit but once you get to the second one you know what you need to do better and you just ignore everything around and focus," said Keahna.

Tie breakers played a key role in Keahna's 2nd place finish. Owen Minsall of Waukee, Grant Brouwer of Sibley-Ocheyedan and Braeden Hoyer of Northeast also cleared the 6'7 height. But each of those three jumpers had more misses than Keahna who had just two.

"My goal was/is to clear 6'7 and to place top three at State. I was just going for 6'7 at the beginning of the season. I wasn't going for 6'8 and I ended up getting it. I think my goal moving forward is to get 6'9 and break the school record," said Keahna.

Keahna has put a lot of work into his technique this season. "I think moving forward my approach has gotten so much better. Working on it in practice and making sure it's consistent and flows nicely and just working on my technique going over the bar has improved so much over the past three years. I'm just hoping to get better. There's always room for improvement," said Keahna.

Keahna is no stranger to the State Tournament. He qualified his freshman year and was shy of the top ten earning 13th with a jump of 6'3. In his sophomore year he quite literally jumped up the ranks earning 5th place with a jump of 6'4.

He now has his sights set on finishing top three at State. Should he continue jumping the way he has been that goal will more than likely be achieved. Currently tied with jumps of 6'8 in Class 3A are Keahna and Marion's Blair Brooks. Brooks also competed at Drake, finishing 10th with a jump of 6'3.

The experience of Drake is one who will not soon forgot. "I treated it like it was State. Just coming down here with the Drake Relays banners it was really cool. It tells you are the top 24 in the State."

 
 

 

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