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Keahna to University of Iowa

November 23, 2018
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Keith Keahna will be joining some very elite company next year. He signed his National Letter of Intent to join the University of Iowa Track and Field team as a high jumper.

Keahna made the announcement via Twitter on Nov. 9. He then signed his letter of intent in front of his family, high school coaches and several friends who came to watch the moment on Wednesday, November 14 at the STCHS library.

"I'm really excited starting a new chapter in my life and it's just crazy that it's all coming down and starting already," said Keahna.

Article Photos

Keith Keahna, second from left, signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, November 14. Joining him were parents Verlyn and Marsha and brother Eli as well as high school track coaches Robert Tyynismaa and Danny Mayo.
News Herald Photos/Allison Graham

Keahna had already made his mind up about going to Iowa earlier this year. He posted his acceptance letter on the school counseling office wall which is a tradition for seniors at STC. But he didn't know at that time he would also be joining the track team.

"By the time we put that acceptance letter on the wall I was in contact with some of the coaches but we weren't in deep talks yet. Just going on some visits and seeing the school made me choose Iowa. It's a nice campus and then we started talking to the track team more and I just had that feeling that it was the perfect fit for me. The track team is always good there. I think it's going to be an awesome fit and I'm glad they are giving me an offer to continue my high jump career," he said.

The Hawks are coached by Iowa City native and world champion runner Joey Woody. Prior to becoming head coach, Woody served as the associate head track and field coach for two seasons. Since arriving on campus, Woody has led Iowa to 29 Big Ten individual titles, seven conference relay titles and 112 All-American honors.

"I like the indoor facility. It's a 200 track so that's rare to find. Their indoor track was actually purchased from the indoor world championships from Eugene, Oregon. It's just a nice facility, nice uniforms and nice apparel," said Keahna.

Keahna will also see some familiar faces with people he has been in competition in the past who will be future teammates.

Keahna is the son of Verlyn and Marsha Keahna. He has been high jumping for the South Tama County Track team since his freshman year of high school. He has been a staple to the program with appearances at the Drake Relays and in the State Meets since his freshman year. He jumped 6'1 in 2016, placing 13th.

He's come a long way since that 13th place finish. Last year, as a junior, he won the Class 3A meet with a jump of 6'8. He also took 2nd in the State at the Drake Relays with a jump of 6'7.

Keahna has been a key component of several South Tama teams over the past three years. He played wide receiver on the football team and helped take the boys basketball team to within four points of a trip to the state tournament. The basketball team also won their first WaMaC conference title in many years. Before he goes back to working on defending his high jump title Keahna will surely be a front court leader on the STC boys basketball team this season.

"My goals for basketball are just to be the best basketball player I can be. Everyone knows we lost a bunch of seniors and that we are going to be down on numbers and experience. I'm just trying to keep it positive and just try to be the best I can be since I will never play basketball again. For track my main goal is to defend the title and also break the school record and jump 6'11 and possibly 7'0 by the end of the State Meet.

Other notable athletes that have graduated from South Tama and competed for the University of Iowa include John Lazar, Mark Fetter who was recently inducted into the IHSAA Football Hall of Fame, and Ben Gates. Each played for the Hawkeye Football team. Verlyn Strellner, Wes Hand, Matt Hand and Paul Bradley each wrestled for the Hawks.

Keahna will be the first South Tama grad on the Hawkeye track team.



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