Oyster Bay High School track and cross country athlete Riley Keffer has committed to competing at the collegiate level. Riley will head to New Jersey in the fall to wear the blue and gold for the Georgian Court University Lions.
Staff, coaches and family members gathered in the upper gym lobby near the Athletic Hall of Fame to recognize Riley for his athletic achievement during an unofficial signing ceremony coordinated by Mr. Kevin Trentowski, director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health.
Track coach Christopher Weber and cross country coach Kevin Cotter each took to the podium to offer congratulatory words, pointing out that Riley’s skills were passed down to him from his father Mike Keffer who also ran track when he attended Oyster Bay High School.
Riley has been running track for Oyster Bay High School since 7th grade. He is the reigning champion of Section 8 County Class C in the 1000-meter run.
“Riley Keffer is a track coach's dream,” said Coach Weber. “He has an infectious love of the sport. He is a natural leader who pushes his teammates as much as he pushes himself.”
“Riley’s compassion was on display all of last year's winter track season,” Coach Weber continued. “Riley volunteered to run alongside and pace one of our Special Olympic Athletes during our league meets. It was a wonderful gesture on Riley's behalf, and both he and his teammate enjoyed every second of it.”
Riley has run cross country for four years. He helped lead the team to three consecutive undefeated division championships and an undefeated conference championship in 2019. He is a two-time state qualifier as a member of the team. Since joining the team as a freshman he has helped the team earn a record of 44 wins and only 6 defeats. This year he placed 11th in the county, leading the team to a second-place finish out of 18 teams. He earned the Section 8 Sportsmanship Award at the New York State meet in 2019.
“Riley's contributions to his team are numerous,” Coach Cotter said. “He can be found running at the back of the pack helping beginning runners who may be struggling. He often stays after practice to help kids who need help with pacing. He also shows great empathy when working with some of our special needs athletes, whether running along with them, shouting encouraging words, or simply just making sure that they are okay before during and after practice.”
Mr. Trentowski congratulated Riley and his family and wished him the best of luck in college. “Riley is an all-around fine young man and will certainly be a great asset to Georgian Court University for the next four years.”
Pictured with Oyster Bay High School senior athlete Riley Keffer are, from left, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni, track coach Mr. Christopher Weber, cross country coach Mr. Kevin Cotter, Athletics Director Mr. Kevin Trentowski, Oyster Bay High School Principal Ms. Sharon Lasher and school counselor Ms. Deanna Cali.