Denver7 | Sports


CSU pentathlete Alexis Keller approaches date with destiny

Each athlete combines their scores from all five events competing for the highest score among all NCAA pentathletes. It’s a test designed to put their athletic abilities through the proverbial ringer.
alexis keller cu.png
Posted at 8:21 AM, Feb 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-20 16:50:20-05

BOULDER, Colo. — To be a great pentathlete, you must be a versatile athlete. You have to be good at running, jumping, throwing, stuff like that.

Colorado State senior Alexis Keller is great at a lot of things. After forgoing graduation last year – she returned to Fort Collins for one last season, and one last run at an elusive title.

Her time with the Rams hasn’t always been perfect.

“I got dead last in my first hurdle race in college in my first pentathlon,” says Keller, who goes by ‘Lexie.’ “I was very humbled by that.”

Keller was a soccer player by trade in high school, and although she ran track she was not much of a hurdler.

“I did not love running in high school,” says Keller. “I just did it to stay in shape.”

She didn’t even know what a pentathlon was before CSU track and fieldcoach Ryan Bailey introduced the concept.

“I feel like it’s something you have to do for a while to kind of pick up,” says Keller. “It takes a lot of time to develop.”

alexis keller cu.png

Bailey explained that the pentathlon is the indoor track and field version of the outdoor season’s heptathlon.

Five events: 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, and the 800m run.

Each athlete combines their scores from all five events and competes for the highest score among all NCAA pentathletes. It’s a test designed to put their athletic abilities through the proverbial ringer.

But after that first fateful freshman race, Keller took off.

“My first pentathlon of this season I scored higher than basically where I [finished] at last year” says Keller. “I started off really well, it got me the first spot in the NCAA.”

Years of dedication and hard work had finally paid off! Keller was the number one pentathlete in the entire NCAA at the time.

However, a mid-season ranking was not her goal.

“I knew if I was going to stay, I wanted to put my all into it and I want to go for the title,” says Keller.

Winning a national title will require the performance of a lifetime, but the stage should feel a lot like home.

“The track [where the NCAA is holding the national championships this season] is really special to me because my family always comes out to those meets,” says Keller. “I always have a big fan group there.”

alexis keller.png

Keller grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The very same city where the NCAA is hosting the indoor track and field national championships.

“Having that [competition] at home on a track that I’m familiar with will be really great for me and give me some extra motivation while I’m there,” says Keller.

Her motivation comes from more than familiar territory. That space is hallowed ground – it brings back memories and speaks to a bright future.

“In high school I would see that track and I would see the college athletes compete and I just looked up to them so much,” says Keller. “So now being able to be that for other people is really exciting.”

Call it destiny.

Call it a “full circle” moment.

Call it whatever you want.

For Lexie Keller, this is the culmination of a dream built on effort and sacrifice.

“If you’re putting a lot of effort in and doing the little things your marks are going to change,” says Keller. “I think [competing in track and field has] showed me that if you put time into something and you set your heart out for something you will get better at it and you will succeed in it.”

The NCAA indoor track and field national championships will begin on March 10th at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.