Triple-A Award Winner Kieran McKeag

Kieran McKeag being honored on the NCAA national letter of intent signing day on February 3rd.

Dan Bethke

Kieran McKeag being honored on the NCAA national letter of intent signing day on February 3rd.

Jacob Wegner, Sports Editor

Academics, arts, and athletics.

Not only is it something that Apple Valley High School prides itself in, but the Minnesota State High School league as well. The Triple-A award is an award that is given out by the MSHSL to one senior boy and one senior girl from high schools around the state. In order to win this award, a student must excel in all three categories.

Senior Kieran McKeag has exemplified many of these attributes. In the classroom, Kieran has challenged himself by taking honors as well as AP classes. McKeag plans on majoring in kinesiology when he attends the University of Minnesota next year.

As for the arts, Kieran is more than qualified for this recognition. He plays tuba for the Wind Ensemble, the highest band at Apple Valley, and is a baritone for the Valley Select Chorale. Kieran is also an all-conference award winner in choir.

Although strong in academics and arts, athletics is where McKeag really shines. Kieran is a two-sport athlete at Apple Valley, playing football in the fall, and throwing shot put and discus in the spring. In each of his three seasons of varsity football, Kieran has earned an All-SSC nomination. As for track and field, Kieran won a 2015 state championship in shot put, while placing fifth in discus. McKeag holds the shot put record at Apple Valley High School with a distance of 62’. He has committed to the University of Minnesota to throw both discus and hammer for the men’s track and field team.

Even with these accomplishments, Kieran isn’t stopping. “My goal this year is to break the state shot put record,” said McKeag. The state record stands at 65’10.” That is no easy task to do, especially coming off a torn ACL.

Last October in a section playoff game against Park High School, Kieran made a tackle and knew right away that something was wrong. What he thought was just a typical knee injury turned into a season-ending torn ACL. “Patience, that’s the hardest part,” explained McKeag.

The road back has not been easy. Thirty minute jogs every other day, 2×10 single leg deadlifts, 2×15 single leg squat and reach, 20 yard resistance band shuffle–these are just a few of the exercises that Kieran is required to do for his rehab. It would be easy to understand if there was a loss of determination or drive after going through such a process.

But not for Kieran McKeag. “I am hoping to be fully cleared by mid-April, in time for track season. I plan on coming back stronger than I was before.”

No matter what happens this spring, Kieran has already made a significant impact at Apple Valley High School. “When it’s all said and done, Kieran will go down as the greatest thrower in Apple Valley history,” said track coach Jeffrey Flugum.

Knowing Kieran for so many years, I have learned how modest, hardworking, and down-to-earth he really is. Through all of his accomplishments, Kieran has never wavered in being a stand-up guy and an even better friend. After interviewing Kieran for this article he had one small request: “Let them know I’m looking for a prom date.”

ACL or not, I think it’s safe to say Kieran would be a great prom date.