Franks, Keys both DQ

By Lev Rourke
Photos by Kim Spir
Schmidt Photo courtesy of Concordia University, Portland, Or

In a bizarre sequence of events, Nathanael Franks (Barlow, Gresham) and Dakotah Keys (Sweet Home), two multitalented Oregon high school seniors, were both disqualified in consecutive heats of the 400 as they concluded Day One of the USATF Juniors decathlon on Wednesday. They were competing at the national championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with potential spots on the U.S. national team at this summer’s World Juniors at stake.


Both were called for running inside their lane around the turn, Keys in Heat II and Franks in Heat III. No other competitors were called for this infraction.


Franks had run 49.58, the fastest time of the day. That performance would have given him a first-day total of 3,735 points, which would have put him in 5th place, 129 points behind the leader, Neamen Wise of the University of South Florida. As it is, Franks now has just 2,901. It was not known if he planned to complete the decathlon on Thursday. His other Day One performances were 11.39 in the 100 meters, 20-7 long jump, 43-7 ¼ shot put and 6-6 ¼ high jump. Franks was 6A state champion this spring in the high jump for Barlow.


It is not known what Keys’s time was in the 400. Prior to the 400, Keys was 77 points ahead of Franks on performances of 11.43, 22-3 ½, 41-10 ½ and 6-2 ¾. Keys won four individual events at this year’s 4A state meet, leading Sweet Home to the team championship.Keys is pictured right long jumping at the Oregon State 4A5A6A meet earlier this year.


Keys is headed to the University of Oregon, Franks to Arkansas.


Taylor Schmidt, freshman at Concordia, stood 7th after the first day with 3,446 points. His first-day marks were 11.39, 21-4 ¼, 43-0 ¼, 5-11 ¼ and 53.51. Schmidt photo courtesy of Concordia University.