Keegan Lott faced a uniquely challenging situation last season that nearly cost him his index finger.
The Atchison County Community High School freshman was competing at a meet at Jackson Heights when a catastrophic injury struck him.
Lott, while getting ready to execute a spin move for a shot put throw, lost his balance and tried to stop his fall. The eight-pound shot put trapped his finger between it and concrete of the ring.
“I removed the shot put from my head to avoid a head injury,” Lott said. “It all just kind of happened so fast that I didn’t know what to think. I just kind of got up and said a few bad words.”
Lott had dislocated and broken his index finger so badly that he stood at risk of losing it. He went to a Topeka hospital, where the future at first looked grim.
“They were OK, but they didn’t help me a whole lot,” Lott said. “Then we went to Children’s Mercy Hospital and they really saved my finger.”
Lott spent some time learning to throw with his left hand while coming back from the injury. He said the mental side of his come back was easily the most challenging.
“It was such a challenge mentally because I wasn’t winning,” Lott said. “I was just so used to being able to compete.”
His father, Luke Lott, who is also Keegan’s throwing coach, said he is proud of how Keegan has responded to this unique adversity.
“The injury was for sure a setback and his ability, mentally, is what I was most proud of,” Lott said. “He’s adjusted well. He battled through it and I was just kind of there to help him out.”
Lott has been able to overcome the injury to have a standout season as a freshman with discus throw of 111 ft 9 in and a shot put of 33 ft 1 in. Luke Lott said his son set lofty goals for himself even after coming off the injury.
“It’s been fantastic,” Lott said. “He set his goal of wanting to go to state this year and I didn’t even go to state my freshman year when I threw.”
Lott said being able to be a part of his son’s success as a freshman has been a great experience.
“Being his coach is great and as his dad also I’m really proud,” Lott said. “Just being able to help him out through his journey has been great.”
Luke Lott said the success Keegan has had this early in his high school career has been impressive.
“I’ve had seniors who didn’t throw that far at the end of the year compared to what he was doing,” Lott said. “He’s transitioned really well from middle school to high school.”
Throwing has been a tradition in the Lott family with Luke Lott holding the shot put record at Horton High School while his brother, Jacob Lott, has the record in competitive discus.
Keegan said being able to make a name for himself with his success this season has been enjoyable.
“It’s been nice to kind of make a name for myself,” Lott said. “I’ve been throwing since the third grade and my dad and uncle have always helped me.”