Athlete of the Week: Ria Keegan

by Holly Brown

In recognition of her performance during the indoor track season, as well as the accumulation of the work that she has put into her athleticism this term, first-year Ria Keegan has been named Athlete of the Week.

First-year Ria Keegan has run track for seven years and now has taken up cross-country.

According to Head Coach Jason Moncer, Keegan had an outstanding meet on Saturday at the Hoosier-Buckeye Invitational, which was hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She won the championship in the 400-meter dash, placed third in the triple jump and finished seventh in the 200 dash.

“Ria is committed to doing her best and makes every attempt to get better,” Moncer said, “and on top of that she has a great personality and adds a lot to our team chemistry.”

The team’s assistant coach, Dr. George Kaufman, was especially enthusiastic about Keegan’s performance at the invitational.

“Her time [in the 400 dash on Saturday] beat her high school outdoor record time of 62.58 seconds, and indoor times for the sprints tend to be slower than outdoor times because of the tighter turns of the indoor track,” Kaufman said.

Although this is Keegan’s first year running for the pioneers, Keegan has been participating in track for seven years.

“I always really liked running when I was little,” Keegan said.

Keegan attended Villa Madonna Academy in Villa Hills, Ky., a small school that allowed her to compete in high school track beginning in the seventh grade. Keegan was also her team’s most valuable player during all four years of high school.

While Keegan is a veteran on the track, this year she’s also added cross-country to her athletic activities. Keegan said that she enjoys cross-country because it allows her to stay active throughout the year and consequently she is better prepared for the rigors of track season.

“It’s been really good. … I think (the team’s) a good group of people and I’ve had a lot of fun,” Keegan said when asked about her college track experience so far.

Her favorite events are currently the 400 dash and the triple jump.

Keegan said she has experienced the pressures that rise from being a student-athlete but also noted the positive aspects.

“It’s definitely challenging having to balance schoolwork with sports but it’s worth every minute,” Keegan said.

Keegan also discussed her anticipation for the rest of the year.

“I’m looking forward to the outdoor season. The team has a lot of potential. … I’m looking forward to the 4×4 (4×400) relay,” Keegan said.


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