By: MMACHS Staff
Keegan Near, MMACHS Class of 2025, has been in the pool since she was two-years-old, and since then has logged a number of impressive accomplishments to her swimming resume. Last Saturday she got to add a new one, Idaho State Swimming Champion.
"On the last 25 I started like dying, so I was sitting there and I could see she was kinda starting to catch up a little, so I was thinking 'ahhhh', and it wasn't until I hit the finish that I finally thought 'alright I got that.'"
Facing off against an opponent who defeated her at the 2022 State Championship, the Rocky Mountain High swim team captain entered the 100-meter backstroke event not expecting to come out on top, but after touching the wall and looking up to confirm that she was the first finish, the reality of it all hit her. "It was a weight off my shoulders. It's what we've been waiting for this entire season and I thought, 'it's over, I don't have to stress about this anymore, I got it.'" Her time of :58.22 was enough to secure the title by just over half a second.
Keegan moved to Idaho from Wyoming just before high school. After arrival she joined a new swim club headed by Coach Shao, who she credits with the development of her technique. "She has helped me so much with my technique. When I first moved here I had almost no technique and was all power, and once I got that technique down it was like (hands motions and noises of a plane taking off)."
Becoming a state champion as a junior means Keegan still has another year to reach new goals, and she hasn't wasted any time in setting them. "I want to keep my state title, for one, and break into :56's if I can, because I want to go for the Rocky record, which is a mid :56."
Additionally, Keegan took home second in the 100-meter freestyle event, and she'll continue to develop that stroke as well as she enters her senior season.
Congratulations Keegan, MMACHs is proud of you!