Anybody who followed Altus High School track and field from 2002 to 2004 knew the name Will McCaskill II.
He was a runner who commanded attention when he stepped up to set his feet in the blocks. He was explosive, racing his way to four state championships and one team championship in 2004 in high school and he has not stopped running since.
McCaskill attended college at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee and once there, won the 2007 National Associate of Intercollegiate Athletics Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the men’s 400-meter with a time of 47.06. The following year he set a new personal best in the 400 with a 46.95 and took silver in the 2008 NAIA Outdoor National Championship. In total, McCaskill won three national titles. Two of those were on a relay team and one was an individual title. He qualified for the USA indoor title three times and the USA outdoor title twice.
That is nothing new to McCaskill. Every year since he began running for competition, his plan has been to be better than the last and every year, he has achieved that.
McCaskill served three-and-a-half years in the Army and returned to Altus to raise his family. He worked hard when he returned home to provide for his family, but his dream of becoming an Olympic champion never left him. In October 2014, after raising enough money to train at the World Athletic Center in Phoenix, Arizona, McCaskill set his sights on achieving his lifelong goal and travelled to Phoenix to train with some of the best. Soon, however, McCaskill realized he needed something more to get to where he wanted to be.
“I ran good but I didn’t run to my full potential. I left that group in the middle of last year and found a different coach who is more focused on the quarter mile,” McCaskill said. “I decided to train with him and have been training with him all winter long and I’ve had a great season so far. My last meet, I dropped a fast enough time to help me qualify for the USA trials and now I’m working on getting my time faster before I get to the trials.”
That other coach is at ShowTyme Performance and McCaskill has felt like this is where he belongs to achieve his goal of reaching the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. However, McCaskill knows he can not do it with training alone.
“I want to give honor to God and his son because without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today,” McCaskill. “They have kept me healthy and kept me focused during my season. I also want to thank my mom, dad and my brothers and sisters for supporting me through all of this. I want to thank Altus, too, as a whole, for getting me out here and getting me started when I first got started back in 2014. I want everyone to just keep believing in me and praying for me.”
McCaskill has two upcoming meets in San Diego on June 22 and June 25. Shortly after that, is the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon from July 1-10. Now more than ever, he needs his hometown behind him and with the community of Altus behind him, he hopes to be able to achieve his goals.
For more information and to help Will McCaskill, visit gofundme.com/will-to-run.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.