What a difference a week made for javelin thrower Sean Keller of Heritage (Vancouver, Wash.).
With a tired arm and mediocre performances (for him) in meets on back-to-back days, Keller seemed stuck in the 211-to 214-foot range.
On Saturday at the Centennial Invitational in Gresham, Ore., Keller said he was "stoked" after breaking his own Washington state record and moving to No. 2 all-time with 244-1 on his first attempt. On his second throw, Keller hit 242 feet. His third went 228 and then he withdrew from the competition because the force of his blocking was causing pain in his ankle.
Keller missed the national federation (in-season, high-school-only competion) record held by Sam Crouser by one inch. Crouser's all-time national record is 255-4, set in 2010.
Now Keller is renewed in his belief that he can get that record.
"I know I can do it," Keller said. "I'm coming after it."
After winning the javelin at the Oregon Relays last week with 213-11, officials weighed his javelin and found that it was too heavy by 28 grams. Keller decided to set that javelin aside and only use it for practice and returned feeling rested and ready to throw the usual 800-gram javelin.
"My arm felt great," Keller said. "I didn't think my arm was going to let me (throw 244)."
Keller set the Washington record at the Centennial Invitational last year when he threw a US-leading 232-1.
His two big throws yesterday are now among the top five of all-time, joining three of Crouser's (255-4, 244-2, 243-3).
Incidentally, Haley Crouser, the girls national record holder, took the week off from competition. She lives a couple of miles from Centennial and won the javelin title there in 2010 and 2011. She initially chose to bypass Centennial out of fear that a planned teacher's strike might close school this week.