By Sheri Duff
Jared Keyes is fast. There are not many other ways to say it although Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head track & field coach Eli Enman makes an attempt. “Jared has really stepped up his game this year in track. His 800 and 400 times are getting really fast (2:01.97 at the Essex Invitational for the 800, and a relay split of 53 in the 400). He’s also been a critical member of the 4×800 relay team that placed first at the Essex Invitational back in May,” he continued. “Jared is a quiet leader on the team that has great focus and commitment.”
Born on Jan. 22, 1995 Keyes and his family lived in Amherst, N.H. until they relocated to Charlotte when he was in the fourth grade. His family includes parents, Kim and Jim, older (by 30 minutes) twin brother David, and a cat named Stormy.
Encouraged to run by local triathlon coach Maria Cimonetti, Keyes remembers his first foray into track. “I started swimming when we lived in New Hampshire,” Keyes offered. “When I was in middle school at the Charlotte Central School I signed up for a triathlon camp. During training, Coach Cimonetti suggested I try running since I was already a swimmer. Now I’m hooked.”
And so he is. A four-year varsity cross country and two-year varsity track & field runner, Keyes was on pace to excel. “I have a long stride which is why I do especially well in the 800 distance,” he said. A testimony to his speed, Keyes placed fifth in the 800 meter and 4×400 relay and first as part of the 4×800 relay team along with Sean Delaney, Sam Longenbach, and Zach Marshall at the boys state track meet two weeks ago.
In fact, it is the 4×800 of which he is most proud. “I ran the last leg of the CVU 4×800 relay and we came in number one in the state,” he said. “At that meet I qualified to run three events at the New England Championships.” At New Englands Keyes finished an impressive 27th in the 800 (2:04.60), 24th in the 4×400 (3:36:08), and 17th in the 4×800 (8:20.66) last weekend.
Keyes also participated on the CVU tennis team as an underclassman and will compete on the Burlington Tennis Club’s swim team for his eighth and final season this summer.
Once the summer ends, Keyes will attend Middlebury College. “I chose Middlebury for its academics, its small school feel, and its proximity to home.” Currently undecided about his course of study Keyes has no cause for concern; after all he has a proven track record.