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Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Salina Central outlasts Hays High -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Lehman earns seventh MIAA honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

FHSU's Samac earns MIAA men's honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

KBCA rankings, Feb. 9 -2/9/2015, 1:47 PM

Big day for Plainville grad Dani Winters -2/9/2015, 11:24 AM

Cowboys' Forte plays through flu -2/9/2015, 10:17 AM

At KU, Smith played on scout team -2/9/2015, 10:16 AM

North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith dies at 83 -2/8/2015, 5:19 PM

Wichita State easily beats weakened Missouri State -2/8/2015, 4:52 PM

FHSU men hold off Hornets -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP's Rhoades third in Phillipsburg -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
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Hardship solidifies faith for Tigers' Keehn

Published on -11/16/2012, 10:18 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

For a man who has achieved monumental feats, Fort Hays State University sophomore cross country runner Cory Keehn doesn't take credit for any of them.

Keehn has been an instigator for a long string of firsts for the FHSU cross country teams this season.

He became the first Tiger to qualify for nationals since Bridget Brown in 2006 and the first male to qualify since Daryn Parker and Dale Dexter in 2003.

Two weeks prior to that, Keehn finished first at the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championships. It was the first individual league title since FHSU transitioned to NCAA Division II.

Not only that, but he helped the men clinch the school's first team title since joining the league in 2006. The last time the men's team had won a league title was in 1987 when the Tigers won the Central State Intercollegiate Conference.

He's done more in two years than some of FHSU's best long distance runners in the past decade have accomplished in four.

Despite all of that, Keehn credits God for everything -- and Keehn, a deeply faithful man, means it.

"It's been kind of surprising to myself with what I've been able to do, but it's not through my strength, because I know that strength comes from God," Keehn said.

Keehn, who will compete Saturday at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships in Joplin, Mo., has endured a long journey, and the road hasn't been covered in roses and dandelions.

He's overcome hardship, and yet that hardship didn't drive him away from his faith. It only strengthened it.

Waking up from a dream

When Keehn was younger, he experienced what he called "dizzy spells."

"Ever since I was little I've had spells where I feel real dizzy or faint and kind of nauseated like I was in a dream or trance or something like that," Keehn said. "We never really knew what it was."

As he got older, the dizzy spells grew more frequent. He started having them four to five times a day.

An MRI revealed a brain tumor.

Keehn, only an eighth grader at the time, admitted he was angry at first.

"I remember that night hearing about it," Keehn said. "I was sitting on my bed, and I was really frustrated. I was almost yelling at God, saying 'Why? Why are you doing this? Don't you know I have all these dreams in my life?' "

Over time, Keehn's anger cooled, and he started praying.

The doctors eventually removed the tumor successfully, and he's been tumor-free ever since. However, the experience still impacted his life.

"I kind of gave it up to him right then and there," he remembered. "I said, 'I have dreams and I have plans for my life, but ultimately, you know what is best for me and I want to serve you.' "

Running with purpose

Keehn, a former Class 2A state champion in cross country at Holton-Jackson Heights and 1,600-meter run champion at state track, said now he doesn't run for his own glory.

In fact, his main goal wasn't to qualify for nationals. His main intention for his running has been to use it to help others and encourage them.

For instance, ever since high school, when he finishes a race, he doesn't revel in his winning, his effort or anything like that. He immediately turns around and seeks out his competitors to shake their hands.

"It's kind of a small gesture, but not many athletes do it," Keehn said. "I just like to be able to encourage my other competitors, because running isn't everything."

FHSU head coach Jason McCullough said Keehn doesn't add any extra pressure for himself. When the stakes are the highest, he said Keehn takes advantage of the opportunity and performs his best.

"I think it has to do with his desire to improve and do things right," McCullough said. "He doesn't take anything for granted because of his past and his health history."

Keehn said his faith drives him in races.

"I know what I'm doing right now is not coming from me," Keehn said. "Honestly, I don't think my body should be able to run as fast as it does. There's a freedom in me when I run that I know I'm doing this as an act of worship toward God. It frees me up. I do it because I enjoy it, and I let God do the rest."

An opportunity for another first

McCullough said Keehn sticks with his assigned workouts and doesn't attempt to push his limits to make himself better. He just does everything right.

McCullough said Keehn is one of the first ones to show up and one of the last to leave, following the pre-workout stretching and post-workout recovering guidelines to the "T" and monitoring his diet and sleep to keep himself rejuvenated.

"He doesn't waste time doing frivolous things," McCullough said. "He takes everything seriously and trains to the best of his ability."

McCullough said he thinks Keehn has a chance to be earn all-American honors with a top-40 finish Saturday, which is something a FHSU runner hasn't done since Dexter and Parker in 2003.

Keehn finished third in the NCAA Division II Central Regional, but other regions boast strong runners, especially the South Central region which includes schools from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

"I think he can run with some of those guys," McCullough said. "Hopefully he gets in there and mixes it up a little bit."

However he finishes, Keehn said he will continue to follow the path God has created for him.

"Ultimately, I just want to serve God in any way I can," Keehn said. "Right now, he is using my passion and my love for running to do that, and I'm going to continue to do that until he leads me elsewhere."

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