Keily Rivas trains hard and competes even harder. The Huntington High School junior received her reward when she shattered the Blue Devil girls’ indoor record in the 1500m race-walk, capturing first place in the North Shore Invitational at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in Manhattan.
Rivas runs on Huntington’s cross country, indoor and outdoor girls’ track teams. She trains during the summer months, too. The results of all of this work have been impressive.
In the North Shore Invitational, Rivas posed a time of 7:24.90, safely ahead of runner-up Serena Roopnarine of Connetquot, who finished in 7:47.55.
Huntington junior Keily Rivas set a new school record in the 1500m race walk.
The teenager said her times during the first few meets this winter weren’t where she wanted them to be. “My motivation to keep walking faster indoors comes from knowing I can do it after recording a time of 7:02 last spring,” Rivas said. “I want to achieve a much faster time indoors. I would really like to break seven minutes and I would really like to make it to the nationals for indoor track.”
Rivas is quick to credit others for helping her find success. “I’ve gotten to where I am because of my teammates, Erika Varady and Nicole Arenth,” she said. “They also race walk so during our workouts they have really pushed me. Even though Erika has been out due to an injury, she will be back soon and will help Nicole and me to work harder. My coaches also encourage me to do better.”
In the North Shore Invitational, Rivas competed in a field of 20, including Arenth, who placed third in the race in a time of 7:51.30. “I did pretty well,” said Rivas, who broke the Huntington race walk record previously held by Varady. “I went out strong in the first lap and pushed through the race, giving it all that I had. “Getting a first place medal was a pretty good feeling. Hopefully, I can do even better at the next meet.”
Rivas continues to master the technical and strategic details and skills required of top race-walkers. “I like race walking and it’s something I’ve become good at,” she said. “It also can be very difficult at times. I’ve gotten better at it, so I continue to do it because I enjoy it.”
The junior hopes to run track in college, where she intends to major in one of the sciences. “I don’t know specifically which science yet, but my goal is to attend medical school because I’ve always carried an interest in becoming a physician,” Rivas said.