Athol’s Selanis looking for New England gold

Recorder Intern
Friday, March 02, 2018

Less than two years ago, Kris Selanis had never picked up a shot put.

Today, the Athol High School senior and school record holder in the event is the second seed in the field at the 31st Annual New England Interscholastic Track & Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

“I’m very happy that he’s continuing to keep the Athol track and field team’s name in the papers,” Athol coach Dave St. Jean said.

Selanis won all his Valley South competitions this season on his way to the PVIAC and MIAA All-State titles, the “high point” St. Jean said of a “very good” Athol team which went 12-1 overall (6-0 in Valley South) this season.

The Red Raider star returns to the Reggie Lewis Center exactly a week after setting his school’s record for longest throw at 56 feet, 1¾ inches. He’s qualified for the 2018 New Balance National Indoor Championship in New York City next weekend in the Emerging Elites category.

If he makes at least a 56-½ at New England, he qualifies for the Champions Flight.

“He’s consistently improving as a thrower,” St. Jean said, adding he feels Selanis is on the upswing at the right time. 

Selanis finished second at the MIAA Division V Championships on Feb. 15,  with Innovation Academy junior Aiden Felty taking the title, beating Selanis’ throw by less than three feet.

“I think Kris knew he had more distance in him,” St. Jean said. “He had been second to the number one thrower all year and I believe he was more mentally prepared for the pressure of the state meet.”

A week later at All States, Selanis was top of the field while Felty fell to 16th , with the Red Raider’s record-setting throw beating the second-place finisher Dylan Murad of Catholic Memorial High School by 1 foot, 11 inches.

“I knew that if he concentrated on the basics of the throw, he could achieve a personal best,” St. Jean said. 

Joining Selanis at today's New England Championships is Mohawk Trail Regional High School junior Meghan Davis. The distance specialist is the No. 6 seed out of 36 competitors in the 2-mile, as her seed time of 11 minutes, 7.80 seconds has her in the mix for a podium spot.

Exeter High School (N.H.) senior Jackie Gaughan is the top-seeded runner in the field with a seed time of 10:21.76, though Davis is the top-seeded Massachusetts runner in the field.