Top discus prospect off to Hawaii
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”.
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.