Sean Keller will be big in Finland.
The Heritage High javelin thrower has been invited to compete in an elite event this summer in the Nordic country, which has a national obsession over javelin.
Just how popular is it?
“It’s like the NFL there,” Keller said.
But before he makes the trip to Finland or competes in the U.S. Olympic trials – Keller is the
ninth-ranked javelin thrower, college and professional throwers included, in the country – he’s going to finish a stellar prep career.
The reigning state champion didn’t disappoint Friday at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Keller smashed the Class 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district track and field meet record with a throw of 231 feet, 2 inches. Keller’s mark is nearly 20 feet better than the previous record, set by Tahoma High’s Derek Eager in 2010.
But that’s not even Keller’s best throw this season. A year after setting the Washington record (232-1), Keller improved upon it with a throw of 244-1 three weeks ago.
He’s close enough to challenge the national record of 255-4, but he’s not too concerned about it.
“My goal is to throw around 250,” Keller said. “If I can do that, I’ll be happy.”
Another 4A meet record fell when Skyview senior Jameson Shirley cleared 15-7 in the boys pole vault, beating the previous mark by 1 inch. Shirley followed with three attempts at 16 feet, but missed.
Mount Rainier High distance runner Jordan McPhee, who has the top time in the 4A girls 3,200 this season, had little trouble winning the event Friday. McPhee ran at the front of the pack nearly the entire race, finishing in 10 minutes, 48.60 seconds.
“I knew I was being pushed,” the sophomore said. “A few girls were right behind me.”
Gig Harbor High’s Wolfgang Beck won the boys 3,200 with a time of 9:23.44.
Curtis High sprinter Kennadi Bouyer continued to show she’s the state’s fastest female, regardless of classification. The junior won her 100-meter heat in 12.09 seconds – the time is the fifth-fastest in Washington this season. Bouyer already owns the top three marks of 11.84 and 12.06 (twice). She also clocked the fastest time in the 200, winning in 25.21.
Mount Tahoma’s Phoung Truong uncorked his best throw of the season in the boys shot put, winning with a mark of 56 feet, 0.5 inches. It’s the third-best mark in 4A and traveled more than 3 feet farther than Truong’s previous best.
Rogers High’s Eric Simpson recorded the fastest qualifying time and a personal best in the boys 110 hurdles when he won his heat in 14.81 seconds. Curtis High’s girls 4x200 relay team also recorded their fastest time of the season, posting the top qualifying time of 1:44.11.
In the girls 400, Bellarmine Prep sophomore Hannah Derby lowered her 4A-leading time to 57.40 seconds. Derby helped the Lions post the state’s fastest 4x400 time, too, at 3:57.12. Federal Way’s 4x100 boys relay notched the fastest time in 4A when it won its heat in 42.31 seconds. Gig Harbor won the other heat in 42.32 seconds. Auburn Riverside’s Rachel O’Neil, who leads 4A in the 100-meter hurdles, won her heat in 14.99 seconds.
Gig Harbor’s Peter Seifert trimmed a second off his previous best time in the boys 300 hurdles and turned in the top qualifying time of 38.94. Tides senior Courtney Jost, the 4A leader in the triple jump, won with a leap of 38-1.5. Bethel senior Bev Coleman won the girls shot put with a throw of 43-5.5. Stadium High senior Jon Lee won the boys triple jump with a leap of 45-2.5