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James Kehrer, Steve Crouse pick Division I college track teams

Two Colonie track stars are going to major NCAA Division I programs this fall.

James Kehrer and Steve Crouse signed their national letters of intent March 12 at Colonie Central High School. Kehrer signed with the University of Connecticut, while Crouse selected the University of Kentucky.

I chose Kentucky because they had the No. 1 signing class for freshmen, said Crouse.

"They had a great reputation for hurdlers, and I figured that would help me," Kehrer said of UConn.

The two Division I schools are getting two of New York's finest track athletes. Kehrer is one of the top hurdlers, having already won the state title in the 55-meter hurdles at the indoor track championships earlier this month, while Crouse won the Federation triple jump championship at last year's state outdoor meet.

"They'll do very well (in college)," said Colonie coach Mike Palmer. "They've got good heads on their shoulders, and they both have a great work ethic."

Crouse looked at several Division I schools before choosing Kentucky.

"After I took an official visit there, the next week I decided (on Kentucky)," said Crouse. "I was amazed by the place."

Kehrer took less time to pick UConn.

"It was probably 15 minutes after I left (UConn)," said Kehrer, who had narrowed his list to four schools before choosing the Storrs, Conn., school.

The campus settings couldn't be more different. UConn is located in the middle of some farmland in the center of the New England state, while Kentucky's campus is in metropolitan Lexington.

"The (UConn) campus itself is like a city," said Kehrer. "I know a bunch of kids out there, so I'll get used to it after a while."

Crouse said he should feel right at home in Lexington. "I've got family down there, so it isn't that big of a change for me," he said.

With their college choices out of the way, Crouse and Kehrer can focus on Colonie's outdoor track season, which begins next week.

"I'd like to jump 50 feet (in the triple jump)," said Crouse.""

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