Posted June 23, 2011

Track and field stars fuel Temple renaissance

First All-America selections since 1994

  • Travis Mahoney
  • Bob Keogh

The last varsity athletes to compete in 2010-11 ended Temple Athletics' year with a bang. At the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, earlier this month, Bob Keogh (hammer throw) and Travis Mahoney (steeplechase) of the men's track and field team — neither of whom had competed in their events in high school — finished high enough to earn second-team All-America honors, the first time any Temple track and field athletes had earned All-America status in 17 years.

Keogh, who graduated in May with a degree in management information systems from the Fox School of Business, finished in 13th place after a lifetime-best throw of 63.66 meters. Mahoney, a junior secondary education major in the College of Education, placed 11th in the steeplechase. Senior Assata Cowart narrowly missed joining them; her 14th-place finish in the semifinals of the 400 meter hurdles left her two spots away from advancing to the NCAA Championships.

Keogh's and Mahoney's performances capped an astonishing year of personal bests and school records for both athletes and signaled the continued renaissance of the men's and women's track and field programs at Temple under third-year coach Eric Mobley. The ascent began in earnest in 2010, when the men's and women's indoor and outdoor teams achieved their highest-ever finishes in the Atlantic 10.

"I'm pleased with the direction the team is going," Mobley said. "We're trying to keep the ball rolling. We don't just want to be the best team in our conference — we're trying to build on what happened last year and become a team with national status."

Although the collegiate season is over, Mahoney's moment in the national spotlight continues for at least a few more days. He will compete at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 23-26 for a spot on the national team at the IAAF World Championships (see link for broadcast information).

- hjh