Taylor speedster claims 2nd U.S. championship in 400m

Former Texas A&M sprinter Fred Kerley wins the 400 meters Saturday at the U.S. Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Texas A&M athletic department photo by Errol Anderson

The successes of former Taylor and A&M track star Fred Kerley are well known in Taylor, or they should be. He was the 2017 U.S. Champion in the 400m, and this past weekend his accomplishments got a little sweeter at the 2019 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships held at Drake Stadium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

In the men's 400m final, Kerley broke Michael Norman's winning streak and captured his second national title with a time of 43.64, a time which is now the seventh fastest in history. Kerley was ecstatic at the finish as he let out a yell and thrust his hands in the air.

Following the race, Kerley said it was not just about setting a personal record (his PR was 43.70 from 2017), it was about proving to the world that he remains a threat for gold in Doha, and quite possibly Tokyo.

In Des Moines, Kerley ran a season’s best 44.09 to almost beat Norman in the semi-finals, and followed it up with his big finish. He also brought an end to Norman’s unbeaten streak in the 400 meters, which had stretched over two years. Ironically, Kerley was also the last man to beat him, in the 2017 USA final.

The next leg of Kerley’s journey could have him competing Aug. 18, in Birmingham, England at the Muller Grand Prix Birmingham, followed by the AG Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium Sept. 6.

Kerley’s representative Rick Simms at Pace Sports Management said Kerley’s schedule was not yet finalized.

These events will be good preparation in route to the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships scheduled from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6 in Doha, Qatar Khalifa International Stadium.

The possibility of a Duck competing in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo is still in reach for Kerley.

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