MURRAY — It’s not very often you hear of a track athlete earning a full-ride scholarship, especially in the local area, but that’s exactly what Keagin Brooks has done in her time with the Murray High track team and at national events.
On Wednesday, Brooks invited friends and family to join her as she signed her national letter of intent to join the West Point track team and throw the javelin as her main event.
That’s another thing that makes her scholarship rare. Javelin isn’t an event that is part of competition at the high school level in the KHSAA. Despite the limitations, she has found a way to get her name out there and earn a great scholarship.
West Point wasn’t the only offer she received, and it wasn’t the only one that made the final cut. She had to make the final choice between West Point and Murray State University but said the final decision came down to what she could do with her degree after school.
“The deciding factor was really after school where it was going to take me in life,” Brooks said. “I want to become a chemical weapons specialist, so I think going to West Point will definitely further that career in that aspect. Immediately after school, I’ll end up having a job and I’ll also get to be on their track team.”
With a good head on her shoulders, Brooks did what a lot of high school athletes don’t, she thought about life after school. She said the decision to go into chemical weaponry really came down to her passion for the subject instilled by a teacher and some values in her family.
“My old chemistry teacher Mrs. Shelby really inspired my desire to learn about chemistry and further my education in the chemistry field,” Brooks said. “The weapons side of it, my family is big into hunting and all of that other stuff, so that really helped me decide and put the two together.”
Keagin has been preparing for the opportunity since she was little and it all started because of her dad, a classmate, and a rock. It’s a story Keagin loves to tell.
“My dad was a track coach and I was back in Kindergarten when I knocked a boy out with a rock,” Brooks said. “My dad saw that as an opportunity to make some money for college. So he decided I would probably be a good javelin thrower, which is my main event, and I took that and started competing at the national level in the USATF and AAU meets.”
Her dad, Adam Brooks, was a member of the men’s track team at Murray State and decided to be proactive and get her working on developing into a thrower for track and field. His expertise was more in the realm of distance running so when it came to teaching javelin there wasn’t a whole lot that he could teach, but Keagin said one of the greatest tools in learning and perfecting her form was Youtube.
She practiced and learned what she could from videos and before she knew it she was competing at the national level in javelin.
“I took that to the New Balance Nationals where I got recognized by West Point’s track coach… Hopefully, through my West Point career, they can build me up enough to where I can win national championships and possibly go pro with javelin.”
With a solid work ethic and a desire to learn, there’s a good chance Keagin might just make some waves at the NCAA level.