Keene High School athletes Claire O’Connor and Noah Timmer are among the area athletes who will be continuing their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Timmer will be playing baseball at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. O’Connor will be competing in indoor and outdoor track and has narrowed down her choices between Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., and Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.
O’Connor was recruited by both Keene State College and Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. She plans on double majoring in business marketing and political science while potentially minoring in women’s studies.
“I am very passionate about all of these topics and became very interested in them after my women’s literature honors class that I took this past fall,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor also played girls soccer at Keene and was named captain this season, along with being named captain for indoor track. She was part of the 4x200 team that broke the school record during indoor track this season. Following her 2019 outdoor track season, O’Connor received the most improved award
“I also really enjoyed having leadership roles on all of the teams I have been on,” she said. “Being captain for varsity soccer and varsity indoor track this year has really given me the perspective I needed to become a better athlete and student.”
O’Connor attributes her coaches at Keene, Kaleb Lique-Naitove and Bill Derry, for helping her learn the importance of sports in her life.
With the outdoor track season up in the air, O’Connor will continue her training for now as she looks ahead to her collegiate career.
“With my spring season being disrupted, I am looking forward to the routine of college track, competing and continuing to push myself hard to get better each year,” O’Connor said. “Especially not having a spring season, it has been mentally exhausting to train on my own, but I now have an end goal which is getting ready for college track.”
Timmer’s decision to go to Bates came down to wanting to play in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, a competitive conference while also one highly regarded for its academics. He plans on pitching for the Bobcats next season.
In his sophomore season, Timmer was stellar, with a 2.69 ERA in seven starts, and had 32 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. In his junior season, Timmer started eight games, pitched 37 innings, had 32 strikeouts and finished with a 5.29 ERA with a 1.81 WHIP.
This season Timmer was looking to get back to that dominant form from his sophomore campaign. Still, over his three years, Timmer stood out on the mound.
“I am also really going to miss all my teammates — we have made some unforgettable memories together,” he said. “I am very thankful to have an opportunity to play at the next level. I couldn’t imagine my last season of baseball happening like it is right now with the coronavirus.”
Along with Bates, Timmer was also considering Middlebury College and Colby College, two other NESCAC institutions.
“What stood out to me about Bates from the other schools I was looking at was the sense of community I felt on campus with all of the other students, and especially the players,” Timmer said. “I also formed a great relationship with the coach.”
O’Connor and Timmer may still get to finish off their senior athletic seasons with, the tentative start date set for May 4.
Regardless, the two have had remarkable athletic careers at Keene and look to continue progressing in college.