For The Tribune
Lexi Keller got involved in several sports at an early age, so when she entered Trinity Lutheran she wanted to play as many sports as she could.
When she completed her senior year in track she had lettered in five different sports during her days at Trinity.
She was on the track team for three years, played soccer for three years, basketball for two, and volleyball and swimming for one year each.
Keller was on the first girls soccer and swimming teams at the school, and she holds school records in swimming and track, received a most valuable player award in soccer, and a Cougar Award and most improved honors in swimming.
“We are a small school, and we don’t have the biggest programs, but we can still compete,” she said. “Being a very competitive person, that was very important to me.
“It is very important putting forth the effort and making that apparent. It’s something that I don’t think I would have gotten as much at a bigger program or a bigger school because they’re already good and they don’t really need to work at it. I’m not saying they don’t work, but don’t have a whole lot to prove unlike we do.”
This spring Keller set the school record in the 100 hurdles.
“I loved the high hurdles,” she said. “I broke the school record by two-tenths of a second (17.56). I’ve been running the hurdles since sixth grade.”
Keller had a unique form for the hurdles.
“I actually four-stepped, which is very rare for somebody who has a time like I do,” Keller said. “Most girls who have faster times three-step. I think if had learned to three-step I definitely could have made it to regional.”
Outside of hurdles, Keller competed in the 100 and long jump.
Since Trinity had a small squad in numbers, Keller said she and the other Cougars tried to achieve strong individual performances.
“Other teams saw how small we were, and thought ‘she’s not going to run fast,’ and then they watched me run and then they realized it was competition,” Keller said. “That’s one of the things I enjoyed — that Trinity Lutheran is a small school but we really had a lot of good competitors, and that is something that I am definitely proud of.”
She said she is pleased the school started a swim team last winter.
Keller’s main event was 50 freestyle.
“The start was crucial,” Keller said. “I really liked sprinting because the rush and the adrenaline was kind of the same as I get in track.”
The recent grad got involved due to her future plans.
I know for the Navy I’ll have to be doing a lot of long distance,” Keller said. “I think Coach (Jennifer) Brinegar did a good job of mixing both for each individual person. We did have those open water days where we did long distance swimming, and I enjoyed that.”
Keller said swim practice was definitely harder than practice in other sports.
She dropped her 50 free time in the sectional by three seconds.
Keller said when she enrolled at Trinity she wanted to play volleyball, but the following year she tried soccer and found that to be her favorite sport.
“I enjoyed the whole team aspect of (soccer)” Keller said. “You can’t only have a couple players, you have to have a whole team that is working together. I enjoyed being a leader, and playing with the boys was a lot of fun. I played co-ed for one year.”
She played various positions with the girls the past two falls.
“When I started I was supposed be an attacking center-midfielder,” Keller said. “I also played striker, and halfway through my senior year I had to play keeper which was interesting, but I ended up really liking it.”
Getting all starting 11 players to mesh was important to the Cougars’ success.
“Teamwork was very important,” Keller said. “Communication is probably one of the most crucial things when it came to winning or losing — or even playing well. There are so many things you have to communicate, and that’s important, especially on defense.
“Goalkeepers are supposed to be the most talkative person out there because you can see the whole field and most people can’t. I had to really communicate with my whole team.”
Keller said she enjoyed her time at Trinity.
“I wasn’t sure about the whole Trinity experience at first,” Keller said. “All my friends were going to Brownstown. After the first day I realized I made the right decision because I met one my best friends through volleyball, and since then I’ve been happy with my decision here.
“I‘ve been happy with the teachers that are always ready to help you. I would never have gotten that at a bigger school. I’m happy for anybody that has made the decision to come here for their education.”
Name: Lexi Keller
School: Trinity Lutheran
Parents: Paul and Megan Keller
Siblings: Emily, Olivia, Annaslise
Sports: Track, three years; soccer, three years; swimming, one year; volleyball, one year; basketball, two years
Athletics highlights: Soccer-most valuable player, all-county; track-school record 100 hurdles; swimming-school record 50 free, Cougar Award, most improved.
Organizations: Art Club, choir, student ambassadors, yearbook, robotics
Plans after high school: Join U.S. Navy
Favorite food: Seafood, french fries
Favorite TV show: “The Office”
Favorite teams: FC Barcelona, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Cubs, Boston Bruins