Sky’s the Limit

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Sky’s the Limit

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“The sky’s the limit right now. I don’t even know where his ceiling is and that’s a great, great feeling,” said Coach Skirball about Andrew O’Keefe, the GCHS long distance running phenom. Andrew is a junior at Granite City High School and runs for the cross country and track team. Last year, he broke the school record by running a 4:16 mile, and this year he has even higher expectations. His goals are to receive All State honors and to run 3 miles under 15 minutes.

Aside from being a great runner, he is also a good student and very coachable. “He’s one of the most humble I’ve seen,” stated Coach Aaron Werths. Andrew never brags about himself or his accomplishments. When asking Coach Skirball if he believes O’Keefe receives enough recognition, he replied, “In our school I think a lot of people respect him, I think in our area some people respect him, but I don’t believe he gets the full credit.”

The sky’s the limit right now. I don’t even know where his ceiling is and that’s a great, great feeling.”

— Coach Skirball

Track and Cross Country are not the most popular sports at Granite City High School, so it is tough for Andrew to get recognition from the student body. Many people believe he is overlooked and there have been instances where even the media has doubted him. Before the Granite City Invitational over Labor Day weekend, Andrew made a ‘Runners to Watch List’ in The Saint Louis Post Dispatch, but another runner was more highly touted. In the last 600 meters of the 3 mile race, “Andrew ended up running away from him,” said Coach Skirball.

O’Keefe is arguably one of the best runners in Granite City High School history, yet many people don’t realize how talented he is. Granite City High School should be proud to have an elite athlete like Andrew O’Keefe. He wins races and breaks records, but you might never know it, as he is modest and soft-spoken. He works hard on the course, on the track, and in the classroom, representing Granite City High School with class.

Andrew wants to take his running to the next level. He is only a junior, but the University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and Villanova University have recently contacted Coach Skirball about their interests in O’Keefe. This is only the beginning. Andrew’s potential for running is limitless. Expect this prodigy to break many more records before his high school career is over.