Salute to Seniors: Keegan Simms


Before the class of 2019 makes their final farewells to high school cross country and track and field, we want to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time! FLRunners invites all seniors to tell their stories from the past four years.


Today we Salute Miami Southridge senior, Keegan Simms

What was your most memorable race?

The Sam Burley Invitational 800m Finals:

"...and that last performance was a NEW MEET RECORD!"

The crowd got loud and the official waved his white flag. "Showtime fellas!"

BAM!

We get to the break line and I heard a stampede of spikes all around me, and I was already going full speed. I knew at that moment this was going to be fast. Only Sukiel, Winston, and Tommy were in front of me, so I kept that pace up. I do not remember anything else in that race, I do not even remember thinking. I crossed the finish line with the clock reading 1:54. A three second PR and a nationally respected time.

I was so excited, and in shock, that all I could do was cry. Ask my Coach, I cried like a baby!

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

Musa Rigaba. We went to the same school from 5th to 8th grade and went our separate ways in high school. Both of us did not run track or xc prior to sophomore year. We saw each other for the first time during a xc race and we have been friendly rivals ever since. If you look at our profiles, we run the exact same times from the 400 all the way to the 5k. Since our schools are rivals, there has not been a single weekend that we haven't battled it out. Every meet, every event, every second we go back and forth. The competitive nature that we have between us is unreal. Happy to say that we will be teammates at FIU next season.


What was your greatest accomplishment?

Despite having success on the track, I take pride in succeeding in the classroom as well. I was second in my graduating class and the 2019 MDCPS Outstanding Male Scholar Athlete.


Who would you consider your biggest role model over your four years competing?

Man, so many! I would say my biggest mentors in track, and in life, are Coach Brown, Mr. Harris, Coach Wilson, and Sheldon Williams.


If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?

Not a thing. EVERYTHING happens for a reason.


What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome? How did you overcome them?

Within my first three weeks of track practice ever, I pulled my right hip flexor and chipped a piece of my pelvic bone. Not wise to run 150's at race pace without stretching. The love for running I gained in those couple of weeks got me through that injury. I trusted my coaches and they got me back to where I needed to be.

What will you miss the most?

My brothers: Vernon, Jason, and Shain. We broke school records with our relay team and we showed up when it mattered the most. It was privilege running alongside such a talented group of guys and "reppin" the same school. Just had to make sure you were not the "slowest leg" of the week- inside joke.

What advice would you give to younger athletes?

Run because you love running, because you love seeing how far you can push yourself, not just to get a college scholarship. At the end of the day it is still a sport, so enjoy it.

What are your post-high school or college plans?

I will be attending Florida International University (FIU) on a track scholarship. #PAWSUP

Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

My entire family. Mom, Dad, Kai, Josh, and Lauran you all are always on my side no matter what. I love you guys, thanks for everything! Mom, you especially. Whenever I ran, she was bent over the railing screaming "Go Keegan!" like a mad man. Every flrunners video that I am in, she is in too. I love you mom!


Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

-Proverbs 19:21


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