CLINTON – It was a memorable night at Clinton High School Saturday as the 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame class was officially inducted and honored.
Towering above many of the athletes at the induction ceremony on Saturday night was Steve Kuehl.
Kuehl was inducted into the hall of fame because of his track and field accolades. The 1975 graduate of Clinton High also participated in football and basketball.
He excelled in the high jump while a River King, including winning the state championship his senior year and a runner-up finish as a junior. He also had a Drake Relays title added to his list of accomplishments.
In 1975, he jumped 6-10.25 to set the state record. His 4A record stood for over two decades.
Kuehl entertained fans at the induction ceremony on Saturday with tales of his time with the track team. He joked that he was put into the basketball game just for the jump ball, and then immediately pulled off the court.
He also credited a teammate for switching his high jump for. He said if it wasn’t for his teammate, he wouldn’t have seen the same kind of numbers.
Speaking of teammates, Kuehl was emotional when talking about growing up in Clinton and with this community. He pointed to the back row of tables, saying it was incredible to still have friends and family coming back to this school to support him.
He said growing up in Clinton was something special as well.
After his career in Clinton, he went on to Iowa State University. As a Cyclone, he was the first athlete at the university who jumped over 7-00. In 1978, he was the Big 8 Conference champion, an USTFF All-American and a finalist at the USA Olympic trials.
Three years while he was there he was a NCAA Championship finalist, too.
Steve lives in California, but still looks back fondly on the community he grew up in.
“I lived in southern California twice as long as I lived in Clinton,” Steve Kuehl said. “And I am still proud to be a River King.”