Matawan’s Keller signs with Monmouth University

first_imgMatawan’s Keller signs with Monmouth University All it took was a trip to Monmouth University to win Chris Keller over. The Matawan High School track and field star will be heading to the West Long Branch campus in the fall on an athletic scholarship. “I love the campus and I felt comfortable there,” said Keller, who has blossomed into one of the best throwers in the state. “Coach [Joe] Compagni and his coaches are all really good.” Keller, who didn’t even start throwing until his sophomore year, came into his own during the winter. He won the Monmouth County shot put championship and threw a personal best 55-7 1/2 in finishing ninth at the indoor national championships. He started his senior year with a personal best of 43 feet in the shot put. “I had no idea I’d reach that [55-7 1/2],” Keller remarked. Keller credits his tremendous improvement to the fundamentals. “It’s dedication in the weight room and dedication in practice,” he said. “I feel I got quicker instead of stronger working in the weight room. I really worked hard on technique.” Keller is a decathlete of throwers. He competes in the shot put, discus and javelin, and looks forward to college, where his throwing will be extended to include the hammer (outdoors) and weight throw (indoors). The Husky has spent the early part of the spring season hauling in the gold medals at relays this year. He was the one constant as Matawan swept all three events at the Huskie and Holmdel Relays. At his home Huskie Relays, Keller was named the most outstanding field performer. Saturday, at the Shore Conference Championships, he extended his personal best to 56-10 3/4 and added the conference crown to his indoor county championship. Not bad for someone who had to be coaxed into track and field by assistant football coach Sam Turner (who is the Huskies’ outdoor track and field head coach). “Coach Turner recruited me, and told me to go out and throw,” recalled Keller. “I did it and did well.” Keller’s goal this spring is to qualify for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in the shot put, discus and javelin. Although time constraints at the single-day meet will keep him from throwing all three, he plans on throwing in the two events he thinks are the best. He’ll begin that quest on Friday and Saturday at the Central Jersey Group II Championships at Monmouth Regional. He’ll need to finish in the top six in each event to move on the State Groups the following weekend in Egg Harbor Township. At the end of last year, Keller had personal best of 43 in the shot put, 173 in the javelin and 126 in the discus. His goals for 2004 are 58 in the shot put, 175-180 for the javelin and 160-plus for the discus. — Tim Morrislast_img

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