CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — With one state championship already under his belt, Chambersburg’s JJ Kelly has been turning heads in track and field, but the sophomore is far from finished.
“Coach Walker talks about it all the time, how I just came out of the woodwork and was a freak of nature,” Kelly said.
It began on the hardwood, but Chambersburg Track and Field head coach Bob Walker knew he had a special athlete on his hands in JJ Kelly.
“The Milton Hershey track coach Rodger Smith, he actually saw him at a game and he’s like coach you’ve got to get this kid out… he is podium,” Walker said.
Kelly joined the track team last year as a freshman and immediately blew the coaching staff away.
“We looked at each other and we were like wow, we’ve never seen anything like this,” Walker said.
“I like to jump,” Kelly said. “That’s what I do in basketball. I get rebounds and I dunk and stuff. I thought it would be able to transfer over to track a little bit.”
It transferred. Kelly won the triple jump state title as a freshman last spring and the indoor title this winter. Kelly is the 13th ranked triple jumper in the country, but he doesn’t want to stop there.
“The sky is the limit for this kid,” Walker said.
Already the school record holder in the triple and long jump, he wants the high jump record and a state title in each event. With the help of former Chambersburg and Auburn standout Marshay Ryan and her seven state titles, he can get there.
“It’s always a battle between me and her because she has seven state championships and I’m pushing to get them so I can tie up or beat her,” Kelly said.
Despite the newfound success in track, Kelly still has hoop dreams.
“Basketball is my first love so it’s just like I know I have a better opportunity in track,” Kelly said. “It just depends on the situation like if I get offers and track’s better, if basketball’s better, I’ll take either. I love doing both.”
Plenty of time to break more records before decision time.