Photos courtesy of Mile Split US and Mile Split TX
After his blazing 46.45 second first place 400-meter-dash finish in the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games, Keshun Reed’s very promising Track and Field career was heading in the right direction. However, tragedy struck. Keshun Reed tore his labrum during his final football season at Arlington Martin High School (TX) and his Track and Field career was in serious jeopardy.
“Last year, I didn’t know what I was going to do when I got injured. I used to just pray that I could run,” said Keshun.
Keshun was forced to miss the majority of his 2015 Indoor Track and Field season as he rehabbed and worked his way back into shape. Although the recovery process was very punishing and intense, Keshun never lost faith throughout the process and credits his mental strength and his drive for his ability to return to form.
“Mental, it was all mental,” Keshun said. “I had to tell myself I wanted it everyday. I was like, ‘you’ve got to get better, you’ve got to get better. Someone is out there working twice as hard as you.”
The following season, in outdoor, Keshun was a man on a mission. He was just months removed from his injury and he already had visions of winning a state championship in mind. Keshun in that season was able to lower his time from 49.87 seconds all the way down to 45.75 seconds and capture the UIL Track and Field Championship, his first state championship victory.
“My goals for last year really was to try to come back and win the state championship for the 400,” said Keshun. “When I accomplished it, I was just like, ‘man this is crazy.’”
Coming back from his physically demanding injury to win the state championship in the 400-meter-dash was monumental for Keshun because the following season he was selected to try out and compete for the USATF World Youth Team.
“It [Winning states] helped me excel to the next level of running by being [selected] on the [USA] World Youth Team and [this] made me want to do better as an individual. “said Keshun.
Keshun later went on to finish in second place in the USATF World Youth Track and Field Trials with a 46.06 final qualifying time. After the trials, he was selected to compete in the 9th IAAF World Youth Championship and came in third place with a near Personal Record, finishing the race with a 45.96 second finish.
During his high school career Keshun has amassed approximately 30 total offers. His phone was constantly ringing from coaches and recruits who where trying to find out where he had his eyes set on for school.
“The recruiting process was stressful; I’m not even going to lie. It was stressful having a coach call you everyday asking, ‘where’s your move going to be,’” said Keshun. “I used to hate it, then when it was over it felt like a weight lifted off my shoulder.”
In October of that year, Keshun decided that Louisiana State University was his best fit for the next four years after high school. The other two schools that rounded out his top three were Baylor University and Texas Tech University. What separated LSU from the pack was their promised training methods.
“I felt like I would fit in with LSU more because they told me that they will work more on finishing my race, which I need help with, and work with me on my speed, and that’s what I’m doing now at my school.”
Keshun feels that his strengths as runner is his quick turnover speed that he gained from running 4×100 relays. He feels that he needs to work on his 400-meter-dash finish, hence the LSU decision.
Keshun had a remarkable year in 2015 that very few can match. Although he feels very accomplished, Keshun believes that his 2015 year was just a building block of what is to come in 2016.
“My last track and field season I would like say, I reached some goals that I wanted to reach and I felt pretty accomplished with myself last year. But it was just a building block for this year” said Keshun.
His New Balance Indoor Nationals’ 400-meter-dash victory has commenced his 2016 year with a bang with an Indoor PR and US #1 Indoor 400-meter time of 47.01.
This year, Keshun has his eyes set mainly on winning, “I’m really just trying to win. I’m just trying to better myself; I try to do better than I did the day before,” said Keshun.
He’s also focusing on leading and knows the importance of an effective leader. “You can only help yourself as a team if you help everyone around you,” said Keshun. “Going into practice, I know that everyone is looking up to me to see what I’m doing so I know that I have to step my game up.”
Keshun is also focused on bettering himself on and off the track; he gives notable credits to his grandma for his Track and Field success thus far. “My grandma pushes me everyday to be the best that I can be on and off the track,” said Keshun.
Keshun Reed says, “All the glory goes to God!” His faith is what has kept him compact and mentally strong through the best and worst times of his track career. Now he’s ready to build on the momentum that he has garnered since his injury and end his high school career on a good note so that he can set a fire that will burn with him throughout his college career.
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