Young Knoxville track star going the distance

Keegan Smith is setting records while leaving the competition behind
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 8:45 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 9:52 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Olympics could very well be a future destination for this young man. One thing’s for certain, this 14-year-old is already leaving the competition behind.

Ready to run is seemingly something Knoxville’s Keegan Smith was born to do, ”I’ve always just like running, seeing God’s creation.”

Young in years, but wise to the ways of the world of Track and Field, Tony Cosey calls Keegan a special talent. Keegan Smith carries himself like a seasoned and well accomplished runner and high praise that comes from someone who know a thing or two about that, VFL and Olympian, Tony Cosey said.

”It goes back to being competitive and consistently doing those things regardless of if there’s someone around you or not, it becomes auto pilot at that point. It’s just, I’m gonna do that, it’s just how fast is it going to be today.”

Focus and determination, attributes that are important in any sport especially distance running and it’s something this eighth grader already has a grasp on. Smith said, ”I went on vacation last week so I was having to train in Florida. All my friends were on vacation with me and I’d wake up every morning, I’d get up early and get my run done. It just comes from experience knowing if you have the discipline and you’re disciplined, you can run fast and later on it will reward you.“

”At this age it is definitely about having fun and still vacationing,” said Cosey. “You’ve got to be able to still be on vacation, get your runs in and that’s really what propels kids forward.”

Keegan just won the Adidas Indoor Nationals 1-mile run for middle school Rising Stars in an incredible record breaking time of 4:34.65. He ran a similar time this week in a meet at Christian Academy of Knoxville. To put it in perspective, just breaking five minutes in the mile for a ninth grader is a big deal!

Keegan won his 23rd national title recently at the Virginia Beach championship meet. The sky is the limit for this incredibly talented young athlete.

”The main thing is keeping him injury free , he’s got a lot more growing to do and like you said, definitely, the sky is the limit,” Cosey said.

Keegan attends Sacred Heart Cathedral School, and will be attending Knoxville Catholic next year, with his stride and his sights set on so much more, ”If I can make it and keep going I want to run the Olympics 5K and 10K, it’s my ultimate goal and that’s been my ultimate goal,” he said.

Cosey has no doubt young Keegan can make that happen!

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