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History-making leap: St. Michael-Albertville's Anna Keefer tops 20 feet in long jump

05/10/2017, 2:09pm CDT
By Jim Paulsen, Star Tribune

The senior, who broke the state record by more than three inches, became the first Minnesota high school girl to exceed 20 feet in the long jump.

Anna Keefer of St. Michael-Albertville competed in the long jump Friday. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE ï Individuals competed during the Hamline Elite Track Meet Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Klas Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Going into Tuesday’s Class 3A, Section 8 True Team meet at Brainerd, a state record was the last thing on Anna Keefer’s mind.

The St. Michael-Albertville senior has threatened the girls’ long jump record in the past, but she and her teammates were fighting fatigue, having recently returned from competing in the Howard Wood Relays in Sioux Falls, S.D., over the weekend.

“I had no expectations of PR-ing [personal record] in the long jump,” Keefer said. “We just got back from a long two-day meet in South Dakota and I felt a little rundown.”

Tired or not, Keefer went out and became the first girl in state history to top the 20-foot mark in the long jump. Her final jump of the day was measured at 20 feet, 1¼ inches, breaking the previous state record by more than three inches.

“On my very last jump, I focused on holding up my feet a little longer and it all came together,” Keefer said. “When the long jump workers started announcing 20 feet, I was super excited. My team was all there cheering for me. It was a really surreal moment.”

Keefer, who has signed a national letter of intent to compete in track and field for the University of North Carolina, also won the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the triple jump. St. Michael-Albertville finished second overall to Alexandria.

Jim Paulsen • 612-673-7737

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