The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Fred Kerley – Different

Jul 13th, 2022
8:36 am PDT

Fred Kerley is a man on a mission. You see it on the track. You see it in his social media. You hear it in his interviews. The man is focused on one thing – being great. He says so. He’s described on the internet and in podcasts as a ninja, a beast, a demon, an animal. I’m going to simply say that he’s, different.

Fred reminds me of athletes from a different generation. Like Bob Hayes, John Carlos, Steve Williams, Carl Lewis, and Maurice Greene. Sprinters that the ONLY thing that mattered to them was, winning! Which is why they all won a lot. National titles. Olympic titles. World titles. Fred is like THAT. And that’s why I think he’s going to be the guy that wins the 100 meter gold medal in the first US hosted World Championships!

Now if you’re not familiar with Fred’s story, here’s the short version. A sprinter in high school, he went to South Plains CC, in Texas, where he primarily ran the 400. He had PB’s of 10.49/21.09/46.38 and that earned him a scholarship to Texas A&M. There were no more 100’s for Fred at A&M, but he did run 20.24 & 43.64 – the 400 a CR. Oh, he won an NCAA title in the 400! Following college, in 2019, he focused on the 400 and made the World Championships team. Fred went to Doha and brought back a bronze medal. Not too shabby.

Then as we all know Covid hit. Everything and everyone was shut down. The Olympics were postponed. So everyone had to wait for the world to open back up. When it did, the athletes of the world went back to work. Or continued to work depending on the athlete. The new focus being the rescheduled 2020, now 2021 Olympics. As everyone did their thing the chatter on the internet started getting louder about Tokyo. Then Fred made a tweet heard round the world. Seemingly out of nowhere, he declared that he was going to run the 100, not the 400, at the Olympic Trials! The internet lost its poop!

What’s up with Kerley? Has Fred lost his mind. Dudes a quartermiler. He can’t compete with guys running 9.9 and 9.8. Why would he do this when he knows he can make the team in the 400? He did it before Covid. What’s he thinking? But as Fred would say later, he was betting on himself. And Fred obviously knew himself better than we did because he made the Olympic team in both the 100 and 200! Then went to Tokyo and brought back the silver medal in the 100. He ended the season with PB’s of 9.83 & 19.76. In the end it didn’t matter what anyone thought, as Fred was one of the top “sprinters” of 2021. So 2021 ended and we entered 2022.

Then Fred being Fred, he opened his season this year in March with a 44.47! Leaving the internet baffled once again, trying to figure out what Fred was going to do. Then Fred ran 20.04. Next he went to a meet and won the 100 in 9.99. Now everyone was thoroughly confused! With THE question on everyone’s lips being, What in the World is Fred Kerley going to run? By the start of June, there had been no more 400’s and Fred went to Oregon with seasons bests of 9.92 and 19.80. Good, but with several others ahead of him on the clock and a few second place race finishes to his credit along the way.

Once again there was much speculation about just how well Fred would do this time. When asked, all Fred would say, is that it would be a surprise! Well, THAT was an understatement. As Fred cranked out one of the best series of races ever over 100 meters. Running 9.83, 9.76, and 9.77. Winning the national title and setting himself up as the favorite heading into the World Championships in just a few days time. By the way. He finished the week placing 3rd in the 200 and making the team there as well.

That’s Fred Kerley. You decide what he is. Like I said, he’s different. He doesn’t fit in a box. He’s a sprinter that can, and does, run whatever he feels like. Whenever he feels like. He’s a man on a mission. To become the greatest sprinter of his generation. And it looks like he’s on target. A win at Worlds, puts him well ahead of nearly everyone else that is competing today. At least in the 100. Who knows what Fred will target next!


One Response to “Fred Kerley – Different”

  1. Waynebo says:

    Great post coach!
    Kerley running 9.7 definitely surprised me. I didn’t think he had that kind of speed. And that’s why dudes like Fred should ignore dudes like me. I also think he might do some damage in the 200m. That 200m might be the best race of the entire meet. On the men’s & women’s side!

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