By Dan Guttenplan
---- — Keely Maguire will be remembered at University of New Hampshire the same way she is remembered at Triton Regional High — as one of the school’s best athletes of her era.
Maguire was named the female recipient of the Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year award Tuesday by the University of New Hampshire athletic department. The presentation was made during the Senior Awards Banquet at Huddleston Hall.
Maguire, who will graduate this month with a degree in political science, owns three school track records: indoor 3,000 meters (2013); outdoor 3,000 meters (2012) and outdoor 5,000 meters (2013).
The longtime distance runner broke the school record in the indoor 3,000 meters in a meet versus Holy Cross in February, breaking the tape in a time of 9:29.49 to shatter a school record (9:32.22) that had stood since 1982.
In the 2012 America East Cross-Country Championships, Maguire became the conference champion on UNH’s College Woods course, helping the Wildcats to a runner-up finish.
The Georgetown native went on to run in the NCAA Division 1 Northeast Region Cross Country Championships. There, she finished 16th out of over 250 runners in the 6K to earn NCAA All-Region Team honors for the second consecutive year and qualify for the NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country Championships.
Maguire became only the second Wildcat track athlete (Rita Ciambra, 2011) ever to qualify for the NCAA Championships three times. She is a two-time member of the All-America East Cross-Country team (2011, ’12) and a two-time New England champion. She won the 10,000 meters in 2011 and the 1,500 in 2012.
Maguire, who has moved to New Hampshire during college, was a dominant cross-country runner at Triton Regional High before her graduation in 2008. She was a three-time Cape Ann League and EMass. Division 3 cross-country champion.
Maguire’s historic senior season came on the heels of an injury-plagued collegiate career. During her senior year at Triton, she was diagnosed with Compartment Syndrome, an exercise-induced and painful neuromuscular injury that caused swelling and pressure in both of her legs.
The injury lasted well into Maguire’s freshman year at New Hampshire, and she red-shirted in cross-country that season. She returned to running during the outdoor track season, earning the America East Outdoor Track and Field Rookie of the Meet after a first-place finish in the 10,000-meter event.
Maguire was bothered by a new injury — IT Band Syndrome — as a sophomore. She experienced constant knee pain due to the inflammation of the IT band that stretches from the pelvis to the shin.
Last summer, Maguire struggled with Compartment Syndrome surgery for the second time in four years. She underwent surgery and returned earlier than expected, running her first race of the season on Sept. 28 at the Paul Short Invitational. One month later, she won the America East Championship. On Nov. 9, four months to the day of the surgery, she qualified for the NCAA Championships.