Keeler doubles his pleasure

Brandon Keeler prefers hurdling defensive backs and jumping for passes into the end zone, but if the Federal Way senior has to show his skills by clearing metal hurdles and jumping into a sand pit, he’ll do that, too.

What started out as a fun springtime hobby turned into a pair of state titles for Keeler. Keeler, who has already accepted a football scholarship to Eastern Washington University, won the long jump and the 110-meter hurdles at last weekend’s state track meet in Tacoma.

“All the college track coaches are calling me now and I tell them I already have a football scholarship,” Keeler said. “At the beginning of the season, coaches were telling me I wouldn’t get anything in track.”

In the long jump state finals on Friday, Keeler leaped a personal best 22-feet, 6 inches to win the event and edge cross-town competitor Kamarr Evans of Jefferson, who jumped 22-6 1/4 to take second place.

“Kamarr was there and he’s my motivation,” Keeler said. “It’s a friendly rivalry.”

Keeler came back on Saturday to win the 110 hurdles by three hundredths, despite hitting five of the 10 hurdles. Keeler finished in 14.49 seconds.

“I wanted to win both the hurdles and finish top three in the jumps, but it worked out all right,” Keeler said. “It was a good day.”

An exhausted Keeler placed fifth in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the triple jump.

Last year at state, Keeler helped the 4x400 relay team to a state title.

Ninth grader Jerry Mitchell, who competes for Federal Way, won the state title in the wheelchair race on Saturday.

Led by Keeler, the Federal Way boys team finished third at state with 32 points.

In the girls events, Decatur senior Gayle Imran finished second in the long jump with a leap of 17-7 1/4.

Imran was fourth in the 200 with a time of 25.54. She also helped the Decatur 4x200 relay team to a third place finish, along with Amber Kamm, Angela Floyd and Dominique McNeal.

In other boys events, Jefferson sophomore Kyle Jenkins took third place in the triple jump with a leap of 45-11 1/2. Federal Way’s Aaron Oravillo was fourth in the 300 hurdles. Joe Isaac of Decatur placed eighth in the discus with a throw of 157-1.

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