Altus Athlete To Begin US Olympics Team Training

Friday, September 26th 2014, 10:23 pm

He said he's the fastest man in Oklahoma and next week he'll begin training to make the United States Track team.

But the road to the Olympics has been a winding one for Will McCaskill and it goes right through Altus, Oklahoma.

Will McCaskill's speed brought him state championships in high school and national championships at St. Gregory's University.

Now, almost a decade later he's back at that same track where it all started.

When asked what happened between then and now, McCaskill answered, "Kids."

To support his family, the husband and father of four works full time at Little Cesar's pizza.

He also served three and a half years in the military.

Then two years ago, he decided to begin training again with his eye on the 2016 Olympics.

"After that I didn't look back," he said. "I just want to be the best in the world."

That means hours on that junior high track beginning at 5 a.m. every morning and in the gym every afternoon between shifts at work.

Four months ago, Will got his big break. A coach at the World Athletic Center in Phoenix agreed to train him.

"If you work hard and discipline yourself, anyone can achieve their dream."

When it came time to make that dream come true Will knew he had the heart, the discipline, the speed. But one critical thing was missing - money.

"My thought was if nobody gets involved in this thing then nobody is going to get involved in this thing and it won't happen," said Kevin Martin, an Altus businessman who learned about Will in an article in the Altus newspaper.

That's when Martin gathered up some other business owners. They made a video, launched a social media campaign and started raising the money.

"Will, because he doesn't come from means has not had every opportunity to make the most of this gift from God," said Martin. "So we are proud to be a part of it and want to be a part of it and our community is proud of Will."

"It kind of turned from a group of six to the city of Altus. It's like William McCaskill's and the city of Altus," grinned Will.

And of course, Will hasn't forgotten his biggest benefactor.

"God has shown me in so many ways he's shown me he's behind me 100%. When you have someone like that backing you, you can do no wrong."

That's why when Will leaves for Phoenix on Sunday he has complete confidence he will reach his goal. Even though up until now it hasn't been an easy road.

"Everybody has to go through at struggle before you find success, so I'm ready."

A fundraising cookout and fitness contest is scheduled for Saturday.

Learn more about Will's GoFundMe account.