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Felix and Soto to Throw at Districts
Written by Ernie Quatrani Correspondent
2016-05-18

        Eli Soto kept his dream of States alive, and Michael Felix shocked everyone as both Upper Perk javelin throwers qualified for the District 1 track and field meet with outstanding performances at last weekend's PAC-10 Championships.

        Soto, who participated in Districts last season, threw a personal best 181-02 in the prelims to qualify for finals. The toss was 18 feet farther than his best throw in the PAC-10's last year.

        "When I went to throw, I actually slipped on the runway, and it tripped me up, didn't think it was that great of a throw. I heard 181, and I got really excited. I yelled, I was so happy. I was very surprised."

        In the finals, Eli came back with a throw of 180-10 in less than optimal conditions. Officials stepped up the pace of the meet to try and beat last Saturday's late afternoon storms, and Soto had very little time to recover from racing in the 400 before having to pick up the javelin for the last round.

        "I had to go run the 400 and I was really tired, and when I got back, I had to throw all my three final throws right away, and they only gave me, at the most, a minute or two of breakage time in between, and that really got me," he recounted.

        "But somehow, on my last throw I ended up throwing another 180."

        His performance was good enough to finish second behind Boyertown's Elijah Shalaway who got off a throw of 189-11.

        Soto is happy to be going into the competition this weekend with teammate Felix, who turned in a remarkable effort at the end of his first and only year of track.

        Felix, two places behind teammate Soto with a career toss of 168, surpassed his best regular season throw by almost 30 feet.

        Felix took up the javelin for the first time this season. It seemed like a natural progression for the former baseball player who also stood out on the football and wrestling teams this year.

        The senior credits volunteer coach Sean MacBain for improving his performance.

        "Mr. MacBain fixed my technique," Felix explained. "My body was too low. I wasn't exploding upward."

        Head coach Steve Keyser recruited MacBain early in the year, and it paid off.

        "We all agree that he was a great asset. We saw it in the success of the javelin [throwers]. But he really helped in the other areas, discus and shotput. He knows his events. We were very thankful that he came out and volunteered his time."

        While Felix is as surprised as anyone to be going to Districts, he is not satisfied to stop there.

        "My goal is to get 180 to get to States. It's going to be tough, but I'm going to try it."

        Felix is heading to Ursinus in the fall and would like to run track for the same program that, ironically, graduated coach Keyser's son, Erich, last weekend.

        Senior Christian Zera also performed well at the PAC-10's but experienced some tough luck in the discus while finishing fourth.

        His best official throw was 134-02 in the stormy conditions last Friday.

        "I thought his discus was very good," opined assistant coach Sam Walters.

        "He was literally a foot off from qualifying for Districts. It's a shame because his first two throws were long enough but, being that it was raining, he slipped out of the circle. His other one just missed the sector."

        Keyser is happy to, at least, see Soto and Felix move on.

        "[Soto's] a great athlete and a great person," Keyser said. "He has leadership skills. He's hard-working, and his success has proven the effort he puts into this."

        As for Felix, "He really surprised us," Keyser related. "He's also a very hard worker, dedicated."


 

 

 

 

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