Keagan Smith performs better under pressure.
The 13-year-old Lake in the Hills boy said he clocked his best time in the mile on his way to winning two class 7AA state titles at the Illinois Elementary School Association Track Meet on May 20 and May 21 in East Peoria.
Smith, a 7th grader at Marlowe Middle School, took first in both the the 800 meter run, with a time of 2:12.70, and the 1600-meter run, with a time of 4:45.91.
“It was my best time ever in the mile,” Smith said. “The big events make my adrenaline go. I run faster. … Winning two state championships are the greatest things that ever happen to me. It’s a huge accomplishment.”
Smith said he ran the 1600 on a Friday and the 800 on Saturday and had plenty of time to recover between.
The Lake in the Hills Board of Trustees recognized Smith for his achievement at their meeting Thursday night.
Keagan's mother, Christelle; father, Aaron; and 11-year-old sister, Chloe joined him at the meeting Thursday.
Keagan's family was with him when he competed for the state championship, urging him to drink plenty of water during the hot weekend.
His mom takes some of the credit for Keagan’s running.
“I am a runner,” Christelle Smith said. “I took Keagan on his first 5K the day after he turned 7 years old.”
Marlowe Middle School Track Program
Ryan Frederick, track coach at Marlowe, said he puts his team through an advanced workout, not like what you would typically find at a middle school, but more like the workout you would find at a high school. And he said the results are evident.
“We do a lot of cross-training, working on our core,” Frederick said. “And we do a lot of agility work. I’m very proud of Keagan and our team. This is the first time in the school’s history that we won conference. We have a lot of 7th graders and we should repeat next year.”
Keagan said he will stay active over the summer, running, swimming and playing basketball and looks forward to competing next year.