VAULTER VAULTER

Grand Haven’s Jordan Keefe set to fly in pole vault

Who: Jordan Keefe

Grade: Senior

Events: Pole Vault, 400, relays

Favorite class: AP Psychology

Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan

Favorite food: Ice Cream

Favorite band: Drake

Favorite TV show: Parenthood

Hobbies: Taking pictures

Future plans: Attending Michigan State University to pole vault and study to become a teacher.

John Tarr recalls Jordan Keefe’s debut practice with the Grand Haven girls track and field team.

At the time Tarr was an assistant coach and then-head coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer asked him if any of the newcomers were standing out in various events.

“After sprints Katie asked me who looked good and I said ‘Jordan Keefe’,” said Tarr, who’s now the head coach. “After the long jump she asked me again and I said ‘Jordan Keefe’. We have a lot of great athletes and she stands out above all of them mostly because of her great determination combined with her mature composure.”

Keefe could excel in any event, but pole vault is where she soars.

She picked up on vaulting that first week of practice and has never looked back.

It was really a no-brainer for Keefe to choose pole vaulting over long-jumping or anything else.

“I tried it and I really liked it right away,” said the daughter of Kelly and Wendy Keefe. “It was really thrilling. It’s a sport where you can take it step by step until you’ve mastered it.”

It was easy to see last season why Keefe likes it so much.

The 5-5, 17-year-old junior cleared the 12-foot mark in the team-state final and 11-6 at the MHSAA state final, which was good for second in Division 1.

Keefe’s mark is easily the school record. Her jump of 11-6 at the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association is a new city record.

Keefe has enjoyed the ride from that first try to her senior season.

“You gradually work your way into the air,” said the oldest of four Keefe girls. “You just have to get into it. It’s scary for sure when you start. It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but it’s really rewarding when you get it. It takes away your fear.”

Keefe would love to finish off her senior season with a state title.

Her goal is to clear 12-6 this season.

Tarr has no doubts she can do it.

“When you get to this level it’s incremental what you can do,” Tarr said. “She was clearing the bar by a good six inches last year, so she can do it.

“To see girls clearing 12-feet now is just incredible. When college scouts saw Jordan jump they thought she was the best in the state.”

Keefe is an all-around good athlete.

She’s in the top three all-time at Grand Haven in the 400 meters, where Tarr said she would easily be in the top 10 in the state.

Keefe was also an integral part of the state-title winning basketball team this winter, employing a pressure defense which sparked the Bucs.

But pole vault is where it’s at for her. She’ll continue to jump at Michigan State, where her parents went to school.

“I like basketball but I like the pole vault 100 times more,” said Keefe, who sports a 3.71 grade point average. “I just fell in love with it.”

Tarr had a dilemma about how to deploy Keefe for the  team since she was good at many sports.

He knew one thing for sure though – pole vaulting would have to come first.

“That’s where her real strength is,” added Tarr. “We had to make sure we utilized her there.

“Jordan’s got a great personality. She’s the most unselfish person and cares more about her teammates than anyone. The great thing about her is she’s very good but she doesn’t show it. She excudes confidence but is very humble and the nicest person.”

By: Scott Brandenburg

Retrieved From: http://highschoolsports.mlive.com/news/article/6464687070844149836/grand-havens-jordan-keefe-set-to-fly-in-pole-vault/

 

Jordan Keefe

 

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