Top dis­cus prospect off to Hawaii

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Morgan

TeRina Keenan’s ath­letic abil­ity has scored her the chance of a life­time.

The 17-year-old dis­cus thrower was of­fered four sports schol­ar­ships to Amer­i­can col­leges, of­fer­ing ac­cess to some of the world’s best train­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

But TeRina’s favoured op­tion is the Univer­sity of Hawaii.

“It’ll be a new ex­pe­ri­ence. There’s more op­por­tu­ni­ties to train, dif­fer­ent coaches and bet­ter weather.”

While there is plenty for TeRina to look for­ward to over her three to four years in the United States, the Morn­ing­side res­i­dent has some other busi­ness to take care of first.

She will com­pete in the English Track and Field Cham­pi­onships next week in the un­der-20 and un­der23 di­vi­sions be­fore mov­ing on to Poland for the World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships in early July.

TeRina ex­pects the over­seas com­pe­ti­tion to be tough, but the for­mer Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School stu­dent has good form go­ing into the tour­na­ment.

Ear­lier this year she came sec­ond in the women’s dis­cus at the New Zealand Track and Field champs be­hind Beatrice Fau­muina with a throw of 49.50m.

“That was pretty cool. I used to do as­sign­ments on her at in­ter­me­di­ate.”

The throw was just off her per­sonal best of 49.58m.

But break­ing records are just an added bonus for the young­ster.

“I like do­ing my best and if I get a per­sonal best or break a record then that’s an ex­tra.”

TeRina’s coach Kirsten Hel­lier, who is look­ing to guide shot put­ter Va­lerie Vili to Olympic glory, says TeRina is the mas­ter of her own des­tiny.

“Any ath­lete who qual­ifi for the world ju­niors has po­ten­tial, but what she does with it is up to her.”

And her mum, for­mer Sil­ver Fern TeAroha Keenan, ad­mits it’s been a “hard slog” for TeRina in an in­di­vid­ual sport, af­ter ex­celling at bas­ket­ball and net­ball at school.

But TeAroha thinks the move over­seas is for the best, be­cause dis­cus is the sport that will “take her the fur­thest”.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Amer­ica call­ing: Dis­cus thrower TeRina Keenan is set to join the ath­let­ics team at the Univer­sity of Hawaii af­ter the ju­nior world champs in Poland next month.

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