This Former Thrower Is Now The Nation's Best At 60 Meters

* Spokane Mead's Dominick Corley has fast become the best sprinter at 60 meters this indoor season

Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit

"A win's a win at the end of the day. Times are temporary. Medals are forever."

by Tim Casey - MileSplit Recruiting Reporter

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Dominick Corley wasn't sure if he'd ever run again.

At the start of his sophomore outdoor track season at Spokane Mead (WA) High School two years ago, Corley threw the javelin and discus. He had never focused on those events before. He had always been a sprinter. But after undergoing hip surgery as a freshman in May 2021, Corley was hesitant to run.

But thanks to the encouragement of his coach and father, Corley finally gave sprinting another try midway through his sophomore year. It was a mental block at first because he worried he'd get injured again.

Two years later, he's overcome it and emerged this indoor season as one of the best track athletes in the U.S.

Corley, who is U.S. No. 2 in the 60m (6.64) and U.S. No. 3 in the 200m (21.09), recently committed to the University of Southern California, which is something he would not have envisioned earlier in his high school career.

"If you would've asked before my junior year track season started, I never would've thought that I'd be even having the chance to attend a USC-type school," Corley said. "I'm very happy about it."

Corley's injury travails began in eighth grade when he started experiencing hip pain. He didn't think much of it, though, until February 2021 when the football season started.

"It was killing me," Corley said of his hip. "I could barely walk."

Corley went to a doctor, who gave him an MRI and found out he had a torn labrum. After the surgery, Corley spent six months in physical therapy. He decided to give up football, but still joined the track team as a sophomore, albeit as a thrower. He couldn't handle running again because he associated it with discomfort.

"All I ever knew was hip pain whenever I was running," Corley said. "That was kind of the norm for me. I wasn't really sure if I could push it and run full speed again. That was the biggest obstacle."

Slowly, Corley got back to running. As a sophomore, his 100m best was 11.39, but he improved considerably the next year when he joined the Spokane Speed Academy, a year-round club based in the city where he lives.

As a junior, Corley set personal-bests in the 100m (10.45) and 200m (21.30). In late July, he won the 100m at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championship and that the first time he won a race on a national stage.

"I wasn't really too happy with the time I ran, but a win's a win at the end of the day," Corley said. "Times are temporary. Medals are forever."

After the USATF Junior Olympic meet, Corley took a couple of weeks off before getting back into training mode. He started varying his workouts, running hills and pulling sleds and taking the sport more seriously.

"I eat better, hydrate better," Corley said. "I'm just more mature and do things better than I did previously."

"I just loved the environment. Right when I got there, I felt like I'd fit in and it'd be a very competitive environment where I would be able to grow as an athlete and as a person...Once I visited USC, there was no doubt that's where I wanted to be."

Corley opened his indoor season by winning the 60m (6.74) and 200m (21.77) at the Spokane Speed Games in mid-December.

Shortly afterward, he contacted the track coaches at Southern California. He told them he had already applied to the school but asked if he could meet them because he was interested in running for the school.

John Bolton, a USC assistant, replied and told Corley the school was impressed with his times. That admiration only grew as Corley kept improving, including running 6.64 in the 60m at the Spokane High School Invitational in January.

Last month, Corley took an official visit to USC, where he met Bolton and head coach Quincy Watts, the gold medalist in the 400m at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Corley said he enjoyed the campus, the weather and the mix of academics and athletics.

"I just loved the environment," Corley said. "Right when I got there, I felt like I'd fit in and it'd be a very competitive environment where I would be able to grow as an athlete and as a person...Once I visited USC, there was no doubt that's where I wanted to be."

Corley's breakthrough senior season has also included a chance to compete against some of the best athletes in the world. He was the only high school boys sprinter invited to the USATF Indoor Championships in February, where he had the 13th-fastest time (6.66) in the first round.

He didn't advance to the final, but he still had a chance to race against stalwarts such as reigning 100m and 200m world outdoor champion Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman, who won the 60m world indoor title this month.

"The race was a little janky, but I was still pretty happy with it," Corley said. "It helped show me that these grown professional dudes aren't too much faster than me."

He added: "You see (the pros) on TV and social media all the time. In person, it's just different. It was a great experience. I loved it."

Corley returned to high school competition this past weekend, winning the 60m (6.66) and 200m (21.09) at the STCU West Coast indoor meet in Spokane. Bullis School (MD) sophomore Quincy Wilson (21.02) and IMG Academy (FL) senior Caine Stanley (21.04) are the only two high schoolers to have run faster in the 200m this indoor season.

This weekend, Corley will be in Boston, competing in the 60m and 200m at the New Balance Nationals. He is scheduled to face some top competition, including Stanley, Nicholas Spikes of Paint Branch (MD), Jaden Wiley of Duluth (GA) and others.

Corley credits his Spokane Speed Academy coach, Cecil Jackson, and his father, Ivan Corley, for helping him overcome his fears and continue running. His father was a sprinter at Eastern Washington University and has been there for his son all the way.

"I'd say for the mental aspect, he's my number one coach," Corley said of his father. "He knows the most what my goals are, so he will hold me accountable if I'm kind of slacking or not doing what I'm supposed to do to run what I want to run and achieve what I want to achieve."

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