Cross Country | Andrew O’Keefe
O’Keefe had a memorable freshman season with the Granite City boys’ cross country team this fall.
First, O’Keefe got to run with his older brother, Will. Then, he became one of the Warriors’ top runners, finishing in the top 10 in eight races, including a pair of first-place finishes in the Tiger Classic and the Belleville West Invitational.
On Oct. 31, O’Keefe clinched a berth to the state cross country meet in Peoria after placing 19th in the Class 3A Normal Sectional with a 16:07.9, making it the fourth straight year and seventh time in the last 10 years the Warriors had at least one state qualifier.
The effort earned O’Keefe his second Granite City AdVantage News Athlete of the Week award. He also won the Athlete of the Week honor in September.
O’Keefe beat out two runners, Pekin’s Kolton Dunkelbarger and New Lenox’s Zac Hutchinson — by six-tenths of a second — to earn the seventh and final state qualifying spot. The top seven runners in sectionals who are not on a state-qualifying team advance to state.
O’Keefe was Granite City’s lone representative at the Class 3A state meet on Saturday. He finished 97th with a season-best time of 15:28, which was the best finish among the freshmen runners in the meet.