All-Region: From one state to the next, Heritage's Keller made javelins fly

Heritage junior launches his way to All-Region honor

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Sean Keller is done with football. He is a track and field guy now. He knows he has an opportunity to do something special in this sport, or rather, to keep doing special things in this sport.

Keller, a junior at Heritage, launched the longest javelin throw in the nation this spring for high school athletes. He broke the state record, while in another state, interestingly enough. He broke the state meet record. He easily won the Class 4A state championship.

For all of those feats, he is The Columbian’s All-Region boys track and field athlete of the year.

And in a back-door sort of way, football helped get him here.

An injury late in the football season delayed his training for track and field this winter. Wanting to catch up, he found individual coaching from Scott Halley at the Concordia University International Throws Center.

“He did a complete overhaul of my form,” Keller said.

Keller did not have to wait to see if his new form would work out.

“It was immediate,” Keller said. “It was the first meet.”

Just like that, Keller went from a pretty darn good javelin thrower in Washington — he finished third at state last year — to the best in the nation. (Interestingly, Halley also coaches Union’s Sam Ferenchak, who finished second to Keller at state.)

This whole season has been one record falling after another for Keller. The articles about him are posted on the window of a counselor’s office at Heritage.

“It’s exciting because everybody at school asks you about it,” Keller said.

Keller appreciated all of his classmates who supported him, even those who might not be experts in track and field.

Keller recorded his nation-leading toss of 232 feet, 1 inch at the Centennial Invitational in Oregon. It was also a Washington state record.

“Everyone kept asking, ‘Does that still count?’ ” Keller said, referring to the state record in another state.

Yes. Absolutely.