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The Lake News Online
  • Pitt State turned the key for Keys

  • Camdenton High School senior commits to Pittsburg State
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  • One of the best female pole vaulters that Camdenton High School has ever seen won't be retiring her track shoes after she graduates this spring.
    The Lakers' Judy Keys has committed to continue her pole vaulting career at Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kan.
    This past season Pittsburg State had 13 women qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championships in 11 events, including the pole vault. That success was part of what led Keys to choose Pittsburg State.
    "I really only checked out two [schools]. It was a really easy decision. Pitt State just had more of a competitive atmosphere, which is what I was looking for," Keys explained.
    Keys isn't going to let her competitive nature get in the way of becoming part of the Gorillas when she gets to campus, however.
    "I do know one of them because we used to vault together when she was in high school. I know we work out together and practice together, so I'll be around them all the time," Keys stated.
    John McNabb, Camdenton High School's girls' track and field head coach, is somewhat familiar with Pittsburg State's program.
    "The pole vault coach who is there actually sent me an email asking about Judy right at the end of the season and that's kind of what started the whole process," McNabb explained.
    Having worked with Keys for the past three years and knowing what he does about Pittsburg State, McNabb thinks it's a stellar match.
    "I think it's going to be a great fit for Judy. She's just continued to get better and it's because of her hard work and the coaching that she's gotten from our assistant coaches. She improved almost a foot this year in her pole vault, while she's been involved in other things. Once she gets in a college program where she is concentrating on track, I think there is room for a lot more improvement," McNabb elaborated.
    Keys will focus on finishing her high school career as best she can, but once she moves on to Pittsburg State she will doing her best to give the Gorillas another national championship qualifier in the pole vault.

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