ASH’s Keontae Gaines bounces back, makes history in Trojans’ track program

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 6:37 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Take a walk in the shoes of ASH’s Keontae Gaines. You’re the starting linebacker in your senior year, and your team is poised to go on a state title run. But before the Trojans could take the field in the playoffs, the school suspended Keontae.

“It was hard because we went on to the state championship,” Gaines said. “What I’m doing now is just to shake back. I’m to take advantage of all of it.”

Now before you write him off, remember you were once a teenager, and you made mistakes too. Whenever someone falls, they have someone or something to pick them up. Running track is that “something” for Keontae.

“I just like it,” Gaines said. “I like to win, and this is one thing I can win. I’ve been competitive since I’ve played football.”

Keontae has run track since the eighth grade and has gotten so good at it that he’s broken records. Most recently he ran a 10.52 in the 100-meter dash and a 21.7 in the 200-meter dash. Both times are the second-fastest in ASH school history.

“It feels good because my dad and I have been working,” Gaines said. “We’ve worked really hard. For me to run a 10.52, it shows how hard I’ve been working.”

Now that he’s achieved these goals, he’s focused on how he wants to be remembered — not as the kid who got expelled. Because it’s not about how you start the race, but how you finish it.

“I hope to set an example of a high standard,” Gaines said. “Everyone should know that I act correctly, and my teammates will follow in my footsteps.”

For staying the course, Keontae Gaines is this week’s ACA Athlete of the Week.

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