St. Michael-Albertville claimed its first-ever Class AA State Championship, thanks in large part to future North Carolina TarHeel Anna Keefer, who led the Knights with three individual state championships.
Keefer’s unprecedented weekend started Friday, with the prelims, where she competed in the final flight of the State AA long jump. Having already set the state record with the first ever jump of more than 20 feet, Keefer topped the State AA meet record with the her first jump, sailing more than 19 feet, 8 inches into the sand pits. She pulled out another jump of 18 feet, 10 inches to secure her first state championship.
On Saturday, in the finals, she captured both the 100 and 200 meter dashes, becoming part of an elite club to capture both sprints at the state meet in Hamline. Her time of 11.73 in the 100 was a personal best, and she set a season best for herself in the 200 with a run of 24.13.
“After getting the attention during the regular season, I kind of felt like I had to step it up at state,” she told the MSHSL media at the AA meet.
To win state, however, she would need some help. Her final event was the 4×200, where Katelyn and Anna Tschida joined Keefer and Izzy Ferrozo on the track. The girls, who had the top qualifying time for the state meet, finished second with a time of 1 minute, 40.8 seconds, just behind state champ North St. Paul.
Other individuals also made the podium for the Knights girls. Annalise Davis scored three points with her mile run, finishing seventh overall and gaining her first medal. And Sophia Weston captured points in the field, grabbing three team points as she finished in the top eight in the triple jump.
The Knights’ 54 points were the highest by any team in the past three seasons, and beat Farmington’s 48 points for this year’s championship trophy.
“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime athlete,” said coach Jason Massman of Keefer, whose four medals will go down in STMA track history. “She’s been a joy to coach.”
For complete results of the 2017 State AA Track meet, check out the MSHSL website.