Keys qualifies for Junior Olympics decathlon, javelin

Sweet Home’s Dakotah Keys has qualified for the National Junior Olympics Meet in Baltimore July 25-30 in the javelin and decathlon.

Keys, who will be a freshman at Sweet Home High School this fall, threw 173-3 in the javelin event to take the gold in a field of 11 competitors at the state Junior Olympics meet in Salem over the weekend.

Keys placed second in the decathlon, despite below-par performances in the high jump and pole vault, his mother and coach, Lela Tami Danforth, said. Keys scored 5040 points, finishing behind Kevin Godfrey, who competed in the Sweet Home Decathlon last spring. Godfrey scored 5070.

The top-seeded competitor withdrew after failing to weigh in on his pole in the pole vault, Danforth said, and the second-seeded competitor sustained an injury. Seven boys competed in the event.

The next hurdle is raising funds for the trip, Danforth said.

“We already signed up for the national meet; however we need to raise the funds to actually go,” she said. “We need approximately $1,600 which will pay for flights, hotel and rental car expenses.”

She said donors can make checks out to the Sweet Home High School Track Program, with the name “Dakotah Keys” on a separate sheet of paper, and can receive receipts for their tax-deductible contributions.

For more information, call Billy Snow at 367-6512 or Lela Tami at 367-8134.