EUGENE — Derek Eager handed Vancouver’s Sean Keller his first loss of 2011 in the javelin.
With his final attempt on Thursday at the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships at the University of Oregon, Eager sent the javelin 227 feet and 1 inch. Keller, a Heritage High senior-to-be who recently won the 4A state title, finished second with a toss of 219-11.
The result was good enough to place Keller on Team USA for July’s Junior Pan-Am Games in Florida.
“It was just not my day for throwing,” Keller said.
Though disappointed with his performance, Keller led the competition from his second throw, until Eager unleashed his winning throw in the sixth round.
Eager, who now throws for UCLA, won the Washington 4A high school title in 2010 as a senior at Tahoma High School in Covington. Keller was third in that 2010 state meet.
Keller competed at the junior nationals as a member of Vancouver’s Evergreen Storm Track Club. Sam Ferenchak of Vancouver also participated in Thursday’s javelin contest, but did not advance to the final. His throw of 178-0 was 16th best in the field of 18.
Keller said he felt he handled the atmosphere of competing in Eugene at the junior nationals, but expressed disappointment about losing a javelin contest for the first time in 2011.
Keller plans to join Evergreen Track Club teammates at the Pacific Northwest Association Junior Olympics on Saturday and Sunday in Seattle. He has qualified based on his marks to compete in the national Junior Olympics in javelin and the shot put.