As we wind down the 2014 outdoor track and field season, it is fitting to close out this year’s ‘Under the Radar’ series with someone very deserving. In Florida we’re known for our huge amount of sprinters. Being that there are so many, some great athletes get lost in the crowd behind athletes such as Kendall Williams, Andre Ewers, and Michael Timpson Jr. Now that most of these high class sprinters have graduated, the seniors of 2015 are taking over, and one of those sprinters to watch out for is Isaiah Taylor. Taylor has been rising on the track and field ladder this past year, but very few know of him even though he placed 4th in the 4A state meet this year in the 100m and has a personal best of 10.48.
Taylor attends West Broward High School where the last thing that would come to mind there is track and field. However, aylor is making a name for the school even if he’s the only one that is representing on these big stages. Taylor explains, “In a way I do feel like I have something to prove to spectators that just because the school isn’t known for that certain sport not to count them out because you never know who may pop up just like in my case over at West Broward.”
Isaiah was district champion and regional runner-up in the 100m. He also took home the win at the Disney High School Showcase this past March in the 100m. One thing I can say most sprinters do is double and run the 100m and 200m, but I guess you can call Isaiah a 100m specialist. Taylor has only run the 200m nine times in his entire career.
This past weekend Isaiah competed at the AAU Club National Championships at the Wide World of Sports along with thousands of other athletes. Isaiah competed in the 100m and 200m with guys like Noah Lyles, who is on the US World Youth Olympic Team and Andre Ewers 4A runner up in 100m and 200m. In his main event the 100m, the record for the age group was 10.61, a time that all three guys can run in their sleep.The favorite to take the record was actually Ewers as he shut down before the line and went 10.63. In the semifinals it was a whole different story Taylor was in the first heat and shut it down immediately running 10.55.
“Honestly it’s an amazing feeling to know that out of all the talented athletes competing in the 100m 17-18 year old division, that I was able to run the faster out of everyone and set a new meet record. I went into the meet with a purpose of making a statement and I believe I accomplished that,” explained Taylor.
Being that Ewers was a familiar face with in him in the race to get the record Isaiah shares, “we actually joked around with each other on who would break it first.” Isaiah went into the finals with the fastest time, but ended up losing to Lyles to get second place beating his friendly rival Andre Ewers. In most of the races that Isaiah has ran this past high school season he ran most of them against Andre. From the first 100m of the season at Walter Dix Relays to their last 100m at the state ,eet Taylor for the most part comes 2nd to Andre. “I can tell you that after months of coming 2nd to Andre it feels good to know that the last meet I raced against him, I finally got one up on him. But we are competitors, good friends, and student of the game, and know that we just have to work hard and focus in order to accomplish of what we dream of becoming,” says Isaiah.
In order to reach your dreams you have to overcome an obstacle. Many high school athletes go through obstacles like broken bones, family problems and more. At the end of his sophomore year Taylor had surgery around his groin three months before the Junior Olympics and he couldn’t train or even walk for two months. Taylor and his family decided to use that last month and go up for the experience. The best blessing comes from these struggles. Taylor's coach is one of those blessings. Jonathon Carter who was a part of USA Track and Field’s stellar 100m athletes in the late 90s to early 2000s, a huge collegiate star who attended Florida State University; not to mention a South Florida product, hailing from Dillard High is doing an amazing job.
“He’s not only my coach he has become more to me and my family. I call him my second dad, because not only did he see me at my lowest at the Junior Olympics last year coming off surgery, not being at the top of my game. He saw the potential I had and brought me there (11.2’s) down to my new personal best of 10.48. I owe a lot of my success and accomplishments to Coach Carter.”
Out of the 100m and the 200m Isaiah says the 100m is his favorite because, “it’s the true test of who the fastest one out there at the meet.” When I asked Isaiah what word describes his racing style he chose ‘dominant’ and in the way he runs ‘dominant’ describes it perfectly. Going into next season Isaiah is definitely going to be one of the top guys to watch. Isaiah explains, “In track and field you never know who may popup and run just the same time if not better than yours. But, what I do know is if I would like to be the top next year, this offseason and the next upcoming season is going to be filled with nothing but hard work, dedication and my blood, sweat and tears out on the track every practice and every meet.”
Make sure you keep your eye on Isaiah Taylor as he won’t be Under the Radar for long.