MANSFIELD, Texas (BVM) — For two-time USATF Junior Olympics All-American winner Dominic Byles, 15, running track and field all started with his father, Errol. As a young man, Errol attended Camperdown High School located in Kingston, Jamaica. He graduated with a track scholarship which allowed him to attend the University of Texas at Arlington. It was later, after marrying and having children, that Errol began training both of his sons, Dominic and Jordan, 12, in the different areas of the sport.
As the boys’ training progressed, other parents took notice of their workouts at the local track. Many of them began asking Errol if he would be interested in expanding his training program to include their children as well. He agreed, which then led to the creation of the Dynamic Speed Track Club.
As a point of interest, it is notable that in late 1979 an organization by the name of The Athletics Congress/USA became fully operational. From there, it continued to grow larger and more influential until eventually, in 1992, it officially changed its name to USA Track & Field (USATF). This name change not only increased recognition for the organization, but also brought with it more focus and popularity to the sport in the United States.
Today, we find that because of the growing influence of USATF, nearly 70,000 youth athletes compete each year in the Junior Olympic track and field and cross country programs. It was through Errol’s creation of the Dynamic Speed Track Club, that Dominic was able to get registered and participate in the Junior Olympics.
In fact, in the first year of the club’s existence, Dominic was able to qualify for the Junior Olympic program. He achieved All-American status in the 200 meter and 400 meter races. All-American means he was one of the top eight fastest sprinters in the nation for the corresponding age group event. Of the two races, Dominic won the 400 meter finals for the boys 13-14 age group, making him the fastest runner in the nation for that age group and event.
The second year of the club brought even more success. Dominic and a fellow teammate were successful in qualifying again for the Junior Olympics. Dominic made All-American in the 200 meter and finished fourth overall. That year, he did not compete in the 400 meter event.
Although he finished in fourth place, Dominic remained undeterred.
“It was a tough loss for him, but something that he has used to fuel his drive to succeed even more,” Errol said.
Dominic is now in his sophomore year at Lake Ridge High School. Aside from being a USATF All-American two years in a row, he has also become a district champion sprinter both years at Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield. He went undefeated in the three high school track meets he was able to participate in as well prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 15-year-old has also competed on an international stage in Jamaica. The last three years he has participated at a meet called the Camperdown Classic where he has won both gold and silver medals.
His mother, Michelle, is very proud of her son.
“He made the varsity team his freshman year and had hoped to make it to the state championships this past May, but they were canceled due to COVID,” Michelle said. “He was also named Lake Ridge Track & Field Athlete of the Year at the school’s year end award ceremony. This was the first time a freshman had received this award.”
In addition to his athletic success, Dominic has also been an ‘A’ Honor Roll student every school year. While at Danny Jones he was recognized by the MISD school board for being in the top 95th percentile of seventh graders who took the SAT test. He was also in the top 30% of all students who took the SAT overall.
An athlete and scholar, Dominic is doing things right. He is proving to be a great example to everyone around him. It goes without saying that this winning combination is incredibly important, and as Dominic continues on his path, other athletes can only benefit from his study habits and his disciplined approach to the sport. He is truly a great role-model to his peers and his achievements surely deserve the spotlight.