McGee doubles up on Big Sky indoor championships


The Easterner Archives

Junior Keshun McGee competes in the long jump at the 47th Pelluer Invitational on April 14, 2018. McGee won his third career Big Sky long jump championship at the BSC indoor championships in Bozeman, Montana, last weekend, to go along with his first career BSC championship in the triple jump.

By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

Fifty EWU track and field athletes competed across 30 events at the Big Sky Conference indoor championships in Bozeman, Montana, last weekend. The team came away with two first place medals, both worn by junior Keshun McGee.

McGee won his third career long jump championship on Feb. 22, breaking an EWU record that stood for 18 years, with a 7.77-meter leap. The following day McGee won his first career BSC championship in the triple jump with a 15.67-meter mark.

“That long jump was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced before,” McGee said. “I’ve been trying to break that record ever since I got here.”

McGee became the first Eagle to win BSC indoor championships in the triple jump and the long jump at the same meet since EWU Hall of Famer Kurt Kraemer in 2001. Kraemer also held the long jump record that McGee broke.

Previously, McGee finished second in the triple jump during the 2018 outdoor season and 2017 indoor season.

McGee won the long jump on his final attempt after two consecutive fouls. His 7.65-meter mark on his second attempt would have been passed by freshman Zach Nunis from Idaho on the last jump (7.66 meters) if McGee didn’t step up.

“I knew (Nunis) was going to pop a big one on his last one, because he is a great competitor,” McGee said. “I just told myself to stay calm and stay poised and know that I was going to win. I kept telling myself I was going to win.”

The triple jump was not as tightly contested. McGee landed his winning effort on his first attempt. Nunis again finished behind him in second place, but was off by 0.53 meters.

“I didn’t reach the goal that I wanted to,” McGee said of the triple jump. “But it is setting me up for a great outdoor season, so I’ll take it.”

The last step in the indoor season is the NCAA Division 1 indoor championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 8-9. The top 16 athletes across the country in each given event qualify.

McGee missed out by 0.05 meters in the long jump, and is ranked No. 22 in the nation after the final week of competitions. His mark in the triple jump ranked No. 33.

McGee will head into the outdoor season as the clear cut favorite to repeat as champion in both the triple jump and the long jump. Both of his marks from the BSC championships were the best in the conference throughout the season.

Men’s head coach Stan Kerr has praised McGee throughout his EWU career. Kerr previously told McGee that he would be able to break the university’s long jump record.

“Keshun’s double gold medal performances in the horizontal jumps will forever be a highlight of the indoor championships,” Kerr said.

Looking forward, McGee anticipates repeating as Big Sky champion in the outdoor season, but he is striving for more than that. McGee said that he wants to make the NCAA championships for outdoor season and become an All-American.

“Just to break that barrier, get to nationals and get that experience,” McGee said. “To know that I’m able to compete with the top competitors in the nation.”