Taylor track star competing for spot on U.S. Olympic team

A track star from Taylor is in the running for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Fred Kerley will compete in the trials for the 400-meter dash Friday in Eugene, Oregon.

Kerley ran for Taylor High School and South Plains College before taking a scholarship at Texas A&M University. He started running competitively in 7th grade and has been on the fast track ever since.

“He’s a very hard working person. Most people don't know, but he works very hard and this has been a dream of his since he's been little,” said Mylik Kerley, Fred’s brother.

Fred’s dream of making it onto the U.S. Olympic team is so close to becoming a reality, that his family and friends can almost taste it. “He's trying out to try to make the Olympic team. He's running the 400-meter, quarter-mile track and field,” said Mylik. 

The track star has turned heads ever since he put on a Taylor High School Ducks jersey.

“Fred has a lot of ability. He has ability in football, basketball, track, phenomenal speed, phenomenal endurance and he's just an all-around good athlete,” said Gerald Jones who coached Kerley in football at Taylor High School.

It was no surprise to those who know him best that he got the chance to compete in the Olympic trials in Oregon.

“I've seen the work that he put in. Most people haven't seen it, but I've seen the work that he put in when we were younger,” Mylik said. 

“The main thing is that you've got to put in the work to be successful. You've got to put in the work and you've got to put in the work when nobody else is watching and that's the main thing,” said Jones. 

Mylik also got off to a running start in high school. Now, he looks up to his brother's dedication to being a great competitor. “We just thought that we needed to stay focused throughout it all. Even when we're high up or even when we're down low, stay focused because there's always going to be a next day to fight for what you want in life and what we want in life is to be successful,” said Mylik. 

Kerley's best time on the 400 meter dash is down to 45.10 seconds. He needs to finish in the top six to compete for the U.S. in Brazil this summer.

“At this point, it's basically you put in all the work and now you've got to go run. Show the world the talent that God's given you,” Mylik said. 

The trials for the 400-meter dash in Eugene, Oregon, begin Friday at 3:15 p.m. CT.

By Sunday night Kerley will know if he will be flying to Brazil for the Olympic Games in August.