AUSTIN, Texas, Sporting Alert — Texas A&M senior Fred Kerley blasted to a collegiate record time of 43.70 seconds to win his quarterfinal heat of the men’s 400m during the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in Austin, Texas on Friday.
Running out of lane six, Kerley separated himself from the field early and kept going on his way to posting a new personal best and world-leading time.
Kerley’s time removed the previous collegiate record of 44.00 seconds, which was also set in Austin in 1992 by former USC standout Quincy Watts.
“I was running smart yesterday to set up the race for today,” said Kerley. “Coach Francique and I were talking about the collegiate record being set in Austin and it would be wonderful to break it here in front of him.
“I just want to keep on improving.”
Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry added: “That was maybe one of the best collegiate performances in history.
“You start looking at big-time, huge performances and 43.70 is just one of the greatest performances of all time.
“He was ready to go, and it’s a pretty good day but not a perfect day to run a 400m.
“He set it up real well, maybe a little bit quick at 200m, but it was a really good race. His 300m time was just about what he wanted to do and he looked strong coming down the line.
“Quincy coaches at USC, so I got to introduce Fred and Quincy underneath the stadium here before the race. Quincy asked him if he could wait one more week to break it.”
Prior to Friday’s race, Kerley’s personal best was 44.09, set in Columbia, South Carolina on May 12 at the SEC Championships.
Ricky Morgan Jr of USC and Baylor’s George Caddick were left a distant second and third in respective times of 45.44 and 45.45.
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