Kris Selanis sets bar for Athol track throwers

  • NATIONALS — Kris Selanis, of Athol, throws the shot put during practice Thursday afternoon at Athol High School. The red line marks 40 feet from the wall that Selanis was throwing toward. The black line marks 50 feet. Athol Daily News/Mike Phillips

Sports writer
Published: 3/2/2018 9:04:18 AM

ATHOL — Kris Selanis keeps raising the bar for himself and every future Athol High School thrower.

During the recent All-State indoor track & field meet, Selanis broke his school record, throwing the shot put 56 feet, 1.75 inches to win the competition.

“It was cool, I wasn’t expecting it though,” said Selanis about breaking the school record. “Before I threw, (Athol coach Dave) St. Jean was telling me to get my hips through quicker. I was just focusing on that and when the time came, just turned my hips as fast as I could and just threw it.”

The throw earned Selanis the second seed in the New England Championship, Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Jason Montano of Thornton High School in Maine is seeded first at 57-1.25. He regularly throws the shot put 56 feet.

The top-six performers in each event from the six state meets qualify for the New England Championship. A total of 36 throws will compete in the shot put.

Selanis is the first athlete St. Jean has coach who qualified for New Englands. He is the first athlete to qualify since the early 2000s, according to St. Jean.

Selanis doesn’t feel any pressure.

“I’m just going to have fun,” Selanis said.

Selanis hopes to place in the top five. He’s regularly thrown the shot put 54 feet, which would place him fourth when compared to all the qualifying throws. If he throws it any more than 54-3.75, it would place him among the top two. His worst throw, which came in just under 52 feet, would place him seventh.

“I know I’m ranked second,” said Selanis. “But I’m constant around 52, 53 feet. If everyone else is constant, then I’m hoping to place top five.”

Selanis usually practices with the college shot put, which weighs 16 pounds, four pounds heavier than a standard high school shot put. He continued to practice with the college shot put this week.

“It helps because you can’t mess up your form,” said Selanis. “If you do, then it’s totally — the throws wrong. But it helps a little.”

Selanis also qualified for New Balance Nationals in the Emerging Elite section, March 9 at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City.

“I’m definitely excited (for nationals),” said Selanis. “It’s a total new atmosphere down in New York. It will definitely be cool.”

Selanis and his father will travel together and St. Jean will meet them at the meet. They will use their own means of transportation rather than school-sanctioned travel. Selanis expressed that he didn’t know what to expect out of nationals.

“I’m just going to throw,” said Selanis. “I don’t really have anything in mind yet because I don’t know what I’m going against.”

Participants at nationals must be in grades 9-12 and meet the standards set by the National Scholastic Athletic Foundation (NSAF). In the shot put, athletes had to throw it at least 51-6 to qualify for the Emerging Elite section. To reach the Championship section, athletes had to throw 56-6.

It costs $50 per event to participate.

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