Sports Standouts

dual threat>>hans chan
The loss still stung a few days after the game ended for senior forward Hans Chan. The state’s fourth-ranked soccer team had been upset in the Elite Eight, ending Ladue Horton Watkins’ quest for the state title. “Honestly, it was one of the most painful nights I can remember,” Chan says.

He had little time to dwell on it, though. His Scott Gallagher 98 Elite team was busy preparing for its upcoming games. And Chan had piano to practice. Despite finishing the high school season with 14 goals and 24 assists (ranking him No. 2 in the St. Louis area), Chan’s focus is hardly one-dimensional.

“I’ve made a decision to major in piano, so that is my focus as I look at colleges,” says Chan, who wants to become a professor in a music department. “If I can walk on a team at college or even just play club soccer while I’m at school, it would be nice. It will be hard to walk completely away from the sport after all these years.”

Chan started playing soccer in kindergarten, and piano at age 8. “Piano is a huge time commitment,” he says. “On school days, I try to practice a minimum of four to five hours.”

As much as he loves piano, soccer is right up there next to it. He admits he’d be a lot more stressed if he didn’t have soccer to balance out his days. He took a break from high school soccer his junior year to focus entirely on his academy team, but returned his senior year because of the camaraderie. “I missed the team spirit and the fun of high school soccer that nothing else really brings you,” he says.

While sacrifices have had to be made, Chan tries to devote ample time to both his passions. His parents have helped him with his schedule, and his club coach has made it clear he understands that piano sometimes comes first. “That helped me a lot mentally because I used to stress over missing any little activity,” Chan says. “I don’t think I could have given up either one even if someone had encouraged it.”

leading thess_mcintyre way>>charlie mcintyre
When Parkway Central senior Charlie McIntyre went to the state cross country meet, he was on a mission. After running about 50 miles per week and setting a school record in October, McIntyre was determined to improve on his two previous state appearances. “I knew going in that there were a lot of talented guys,” he says. “I wanted to run my best and put myself in position to finish the best I could. And I think I did that.”

McIntyre finished seventh overall with a time of 15:54.31. His highest previous finish was 40th at state after using his sophomore season as a learning experience and battling through some hamstring issues at the end of his junior year.

Named team captain his senior year, McIntyre tried to lead by example. “I’d go to the team dinners before the races, and I would suffer with them at practices when it got tough,” he says. “I think the team has a lot of potential and has some great things ahead.”

McIntyre is already shifting gears to track season. While he runs everything from the 800 meters to the 2-mile race during track, his specialty is the mile. “This past track season, I was third at state in the mile and just a half second away from winning,” says McIntyre, who clocked in at 4:18.13 to take bronze. “It gives me a lot to build on this year.”

With a recent official visit to Mizzou, McIntyre plans to continue running in college. He has not narrowed down his list completely, but Missouri, Houston, Butler, DePaul and Loyola are among the schools being considered.

“Being in cross country and track has opened up a lot of social aspects for me,” he says. “I’ve met a lot of great people. It also teaches sportsmanship and how to persevere through ups and downs. I have learned to push through those downs.”

talk to … kathryn keussss_kleuss
Cor Jesu Academy golfer Kathryn Keuss capped off her senior season with a 14th-place finish at the state tournament. The three-time state qualifier won both the Missouri/Illinois River Challenge and the District Tournament this season. She plans to continue playing in college but is not expected to choose where until closer to signing day in February.

When did you start playing golf?
“I learned at age 6, but played select soccer all through grade school. I didn’t really start focusing on it until later. Then I surprised myself by reaching the state tournament my freshman year, and I fell in love with the game.”

How would you describe your senior season?
“I felt like I played really well. I was on point and things clicked. I was a little disappointed with my outcome at state. I was fighting a little of a swing issue, and I think I was a little tired physically on the second day because I had been preparing so much for it. I parred out the last five holes, though, and finished strong. Looking at all I accomplished, I don’t want to dwell on my last round.”

How do you think golf could help you in the long run?
“My dad plays golf so he told me what a good skill it is in business. Lots of professions are looking for female golfers, and it gives some girls an advantage because you can do business on the course. It’s also taught me to have patience. You have to work with what you have and have a lot of mental toughness.”