South runners reunite

By Andrea Braver
Published: November 2010

By Andrea Braver
From size to location, a number of factors are taken into consideration in the college selection process. For senior Kathy O’Keefe, one specific factor played a crucial role: running.
O’Keefe, a 10-time Dual County League All-Star in Cross Country and Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, is widely acclaimed in the world of competitive high school Cross Country and Track and Field.
She has not only qualified to compete at National meets, where the top high school athletes from all over the country gather for the sole purpose of running, but she has earned a spot as All-American, finishing in the top six places, on countless occasions.
In addition, she is a national champion in events such as the 4×1-mile relay.
Like the majority of South seniors looking to attend college, O’Keefe began her decision-making process by compiling a list of potential schools she was interested in.
“I had long list of schools I liked regardless of Cross Country and Track and Field, she said.
The next step, in narrowing down this large list of schools, was to decide which of the schools she had put on her list would allow her to run Division-I Cross Country and Track and Field.
O’Keefe is an immensely strong runner who is skilled in a variety of events, ranging from the 400 meters to the three-plus-mile Cross Country circuit.
The experience, talent, and drive that O’Keefe possesses are uncanny. As a reward for her hard work and efforts, she was bombarded by with letters from coaches from colleges asking her to consider being on their team.
After narrowing it down to schools that both fit her academic and athletic needs, O’Keefe found herself still unsure as to which she should choose.
The three schools in which she had to decide upon were Boston College (BC), Dartmouth College, and Duke University.
O’Keefe, after heavy consideration, eventually decided BC was a perfect fit for her for a number of reasons, beginning with the promising full scholarship she received to the college, as opposed to the partial scholarships she was offered from Dartmouth and Duke.
In addition, two members of BC’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams had been O’Keefe’s teammates at South.
Alumni Bridget Dahlberg (’09) and Madeleine Reed (’10) had not only been on the same team as O’Keefe, but were on her relay teams and remain close friends of hers to this day.
“Reuniting our old relay team would be fun, O’Keefe said. “I hadn’t given it much thought, but it might be possible.
Aside from matters pertaining to her running career, O’Keefe found that BC met her needs academically.
From speaking with student athletes at Dartmouth and Duke, O’Keefe learned that balancing athletics with academics could be difficult at those schools.
“I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with academics and I found that BC students felt the academic level was more comfortable, O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe had initially planned to leave the Boston area to attend a college farther away, but was pleasantly surprised with the opportunities BC presented.
“At first I thought I wouldn’t want to go to a school that both was in the same city I have been living in and has my old teammates on it, but the environment of the team and school in general gave me the impression that I could easily fit in, O’Keefe said.
While many students, if given the option, would choose an Ivy League school such as Dartmouth, or a school known as the “Harvard of the South, such as Duke, O’Keefe has been able to transcend the pressuring environment.
She acknowledges that BC is less acclaimed than a few of the other schools she was choosing between, but felt that a decision this vital should not be based on the status of a school.
The opportunity to reunite with her old teammates and potentially running on a relay team with them again is one she could not pass up.
“[Reed, Dahlberg, and I, if on a relay team together,] could wear orange spandex under our uniforms to keep the South spirit alive, O’Keefe said.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.