LANSING | When Celestina Keys came to T.F. South as a junior, she decided to go by her nickname of "CeCe".
"Nobody could remember or pronounce my name," Keys said. "I just wanted to fit in and make friends."
There is no doubt she is known in the track circles, as Keys has become very good in both the shot put and discus. At the recent South Suburban Blue meet, she won the shot put with a toss of 36-feet, 1/4 inch. She was sixth in the discus.
She is hoping for a trip to next weekend's Class 3A state meet at Eastern Illinois University. She also knows she is in a tough field at Thursday's Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional.
"That is my goal," Keys said of going to state. "I still have a few things to work on – my footwork and release."
Keys has won several meets including conference, the T.F. South Invitational and the Oak Forest Invitational. She has placed high in the discus. She works out with a 16-pound boys shot put and she said that helps her in meets. The girls throw an 8-pound shot put. Much like a hitter puts a doughnut on his or her bat or swings two bats on the on-deck circle.
"It does make the (girls shot put) feel lighter and it does help," Keys said. "I throw the boys discus, too, in practice, but the main thing is form in both. It is how you come across the ring and how you release."
T.F. South is her third school. She started as at Eisenhower, then moved to Griffith for her sophomore year. That was when she got involved with track.
"I remember wining my first meet – the Bishop Noll (indoor) meet – and getting my medal," Keys said. "That made me feel good and made me want to win."
She said going to different schools is hard, but through sports, she made a lot of friends, especially in basketball, where she was a starter for a successful Rebels team. T.F. South didn't win the South Suburban Blue basketball title, providing Keys with some motivation for the spring.
"We were disappointed and I kind of took that and used that to get ready for track," Keys said. "I want to do well at sectionals."