Catching Up With Sean Keller

Finally caught up with Sean Keller, one of the country’s preeminent javelin throwers. Keller, a recent graduate of Heritage High School, finished eighth at the Olympic Trials last summer. He then competed in the World Junior Championships in Barcelona and spent time competing and training in Finland. But last time I talked with him he hadn’t decided on a college.

Keller, it turns out, recently moved to Yakima with his family after his dad was transferred for work. He has enrolled at Yakima Valley Community College, planning to take classes for a year while continuing to train. That could be problematic, considering that Keller trains with coach Scott Halley at the Concordia Throws Center in Portland.

“Same coach,” he said of his plans this year. “I’m only three hours away; I can train with him whenever I want.”

Keller said he had some brief conversations with elite college track programs, but it didn’t go beyond that. “They had already given out their scholarships,” he said.

After easily winning his second straight state Class 4A championship, breaking his own meet record, Keller turned in an eye-opening performance at the Olympic Trials in Eugene. He set a personal record of 253 feet in the preliminary round, one of the best throws ever recorded by a U.S. schoolboy, to reach the 12-man final. In the finals, he qualified for the top eight after three rounds, earning three more throws against a field of NCAA champions and experienced international throwers.

So, for now, Keller will continue to train and work to improve. He won’t be competing for a big-time college this year, but I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of Sean Keller on the javelin runway.

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