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Keagle looking forward to track career at Southwest Baptist

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg senior Sydni Keagle, the school’s record holder in the 100-meter hurdles, will continue her track career at Southwest Baptist University next season.

Sydni Keagle certainly made her mark on the Louisburg track program as she is the school’s record holder in the 100-meter hurdles and earned state medals in two relays a year ago.

Now she is hoping to do more of the same at the college level.

Keagle recently held a signing ceremony outside of Louisburg High School and signed her letter of intent to run track at Southwest Baptist University next season. The opportunity to run track in college was something that was too good for her to pass up.

“I was super excited when I found out that I was going to be able to run track in college, even if it was just as a walk-on for the first year or two,” Keagle said. “However, up until a few months ago, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue my athletic career in college. If COVID-19 has made me realize anything, it’s that I truly love running track and not being able to participate in the sport my senior year was devastating. That was ultimately what helped me decide to run in college.”

Like many spring athletes across the country, Keagle was hoping for a special year – especially in the 100 hurdles. Keagle missed out on a state medal in that event by just one spot last spring, but she is hoping to take a big leap forward in college.

“As of right now hurdles is the only event that I know I’ll be participating in,” Keagle said. “That could possibly change in the future, but hasn’t been discussed yet. The coaches have been amazing throughout the whole process. They are very open with their communication and always answer any questions that I have as quickly as they can. I’m very excited to see what next year has to offer.”

Keagle wasn’t even sure what school she was going to attend until the last couple months, but the Southwest Baptist coaching staff did a good job of persuading her. She believes the Division II program, based in Bolivar, Mo., will be a good home for her for the next four years.

“At one point I was kind of stuck in the middle while trying to decide between SBU and Pitt State, but track ended up being the end factor that helped me make my decision,” Keagle said. “School wise, both were great options and I could see myself at either one, but one of the things I was looking for the most was the ability to run.

“I wanted to run at Pitt State, but was had a hard time getting ahold of their coach. In the meantime I reached out to the SBU coach and was able to get a response fairly quickly. After a couple of conversations with their coach I had made up my mind and knew that SBU was where I wanted to go.”

Louisburg senior Sydni Keagle signed her letter of intent last month to run track at Southwest Baptist. Sitting next to Sydni are her parents Jennier and Eric. Standing are her siblings Raeya and Reed.

Keagle, who is planning on majoring in elementary education, believes Southwest Baptist is good sport for her both academically and athletically.

“The big reason other than track was that all of the staff and students there are so warm and welcoming in ways that I never got at other schools,” Keagle said. “They show that they care and are interested in your future, academically and athletically. Plus, they have a great education program that I’m excited to be a part of.”

Now the hard part for Keagle begins. With the lost season due to COVID-19, Keagle is now in the process of staying in track shape for when she gets to college and knows that she has a lot of work to do still.

“Not having a season this year has proved more difficult than I thought,” Keagle said. “Usually I am in athletics year round so I don’t have to think about when I’m going to exercise or run, and being at home has made it a challenge. I do my best to run and keep in shape, but it doesn’t always go the way I plan. This summer though, I’ll be on more of a schedule, hopefully with workouts coming from the coaches at SBU.”

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