The South Plains College track and field program has sat atop the NJCAA since its inception, amassing 25 combined national titles, including a recent run of 11 consecutive men's Outdoor National Championships, a feat never accomplished at any collegiate level.
Such level of success comes from a blend of top-tier coaches and athletes willing to go the extra mile to compete at an elite level. South Plains continues to develop young student-athletes who continue their careers at Div. I Universities and is a name often recognized on a world stage. Most recently, South Plains College had 10 former athletes qualify and compete for their home countries at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
That trend will continue on August 4-13 in London as 12 athletes will represent their countries and South Plains College at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. Over the next two days, we will spotlight each athlete and recognize their accomplishments before they take to the track to compete against the world's best.
The IAAF track and field world championships is the biggest stage for track and field competition aside from the Olympic Games. Athletes from around the world travel to compete for their home country and an opportunity to be called a world champion.
Kerley stepped onto the South Plains College campus in 2013 as a walk-on from Taylor, Texas. Kerley helped lead the Texans to the 2015 Outdoor National Championship as the anchor on the Texans' 4x400 relay team that placed third at the national meet.
"Fred started at South Plains as a walk-on, and he had this family friend, or mentor you could say who kept telling me about this kid in Taylor, Texas," former South Plains assistant track and field coach Blaine Wiley said. "Fred showed up on campus in August and we started training hard. He came out to work every day and had a great attitude and wanted to be great. He was extremely driven and came to work every single day."
After two years in Levelland, Kerley signed to compete for the Aggies of Texas A&M. It's safe to say he made the most of his opportunity in Aggie Land, as he swept the 2017 Men's Indoor and Outdoor National Championships in the 400 meters, while also anchoring the Aggie's 4x400 national championship quartet.
Prior to the Outdoor national meet in June, Kerley made national headlines at the NCAA West Preliminary rounds at Myers Stadium on May 26 when he broke a 25-year-old collegiate record in the 400m with a time of 43.70 seconds. The previous record of 44.00 was set by USC's Quincy Watts during the 1992 NCAA Championships. Kerley's time ranks sixth best on the all-time U.S. list and seventh on the all-time world list.
Kerley will look to add to his trophy case over the next two weeks as he represents the United States in the men's 400 meters and 4x400 relay. The opening round of the 400-meter run begins on August 5th at 4:45 a.m. local time. The opening round of the men's 4x400 relays will get underway on August 12th at 5:50 a.m. local time.
The IAAF World Championships will be streamed live on YouTube at the following link:
You can also access live coverage on NBC, NBCSN, and NBC Sports Gold Pass.
The complete schedule and live results can be found here: