Most college athletes don’t expect themselves to be competing for an Olympic medal and earning a spot on a Junior World Championship meet right away. However, that was the case for ASU freshman Hudson Keffer.
Following an immediate success at his first USATF junior championship meet, Keffer will soon head to Poland from July 19 through July 24 for the International Association of Athletics Federation World Under-20 championship.
“I definitely didn't anticipate being in the position I'm in right now,” Keffer said before the competition. "I matched really well with my coach ... had huge, huge improvements, I expected big improvements but definitely not as big as I did."
Keffer also competed at the Olympic trials to earn a spot to compete at the Rio games. The freshman said he wanted to get the most experience out of representing this country.
"I'm extremely proud, that's actually a journey I've working towards for the past three years," Keffer said. "I first competed in the junior national championships two years ago and I got fourth place, last year. ... I was happy to come out with a win and obviously to represent to United States, something I've never done."
Keffer began his career in track and field his sophomore year of high school as a way to keep in shape for football, his other passion. He tried to find his spot on the team and discovered his talent for javelin throwing.
After two straight seasons of being the state runner-up in the event, the former high school quarterback finally took the state title in javelin throws his senior season and went south to compete for the Sun Devils in Throws.
Keffer said he came to ASU for the coaching.
“It's coach (David) Dumble,” Keffer said. "He's obviously a really talented coach. He's had a lot of extremely good athletes and they've all performed well."
At the beginning of the season, head coach Greg Kraft said he wanted to “see how people respond to competition." From his first day at the field, he thrived in the competition — breaking his personal record and competing as one of ASU’s top competitors.
The Washington native had set a goal for himself to hit 70 meters in the javelin throw, and he broke that in his first meet.
“That had me taking a step back cause I was like, 'Whoa, I need to reassess my goals right now,'” he said. "We had to figure out what I am capable of now."
Though he’s been successful, the former quarterback knows he has he has a lot of work to do if he wants to come back to this stage in his career.
“I think a lot of it comes down to repetition,” Keffer said. "It takes a lot of repetition to perfect the rhythm and the timing of the throw which is extremely crucial."
Update: Keffer got 16th place in the men's javelin throw qualifying round, ending his chances to compete at the Summer Olmypic games.
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