INTERVIEW: MileSplit LA AOTY John Curtis' King Taylor!


John Curtis' King Taylor and his coaches played it smart in 2024. Sticking to the plan paid off as Taylor swept both the LHSAA D1 400m and LHSAA Class 5A state outdoor 400m during his senior season in River Ridge, LA.

The latter was only the fifth time all season that Taylor ran the event as his coaches decided to delay his season to make sure he was where he needed to be at the end of the year. That plan paid off as Taylor took a visit to the top of the podium at Bernie Moore Stadium earlier this month. 

"A big part was that (winning the LHSAA State Outdoor Meet) was that he did all of the little things he needed to do to be able to stay healthy," John Curits head coach Preston Curtis said. "In years past, he would have different tweaks and things that would prevent him from running his best at the state meet."

While his complimented Taylor, Taylor returned the praise on the work of his coaches--Curtis and Cody Branch--for tailoring the workouts to his specific needs.

"They helped change the workout to help me get through the season with my legs," Taylor said. "It was like fast workouts, rather quality workouts." 

In the final race of the season, Taylor played it smart again when Barbe's Darryl Washington got out fast in lane six, leaving Taylor and the field to watch the Lake Charles sprinter separate from the field.

"I wanted to make sure I didn't let him get too far away from me, and I wanted to make sure that I didn't overly chase him," Taylor said. "I wanted to make sure I had enough for the last 200m of the race. So, it was just trying to make sure I did the right thing."

Taylor would overtake Washington in the far turn, and led as he sprinted down the home stretch. Parkway's Will Achee closed hard, and almost caught Taylor, but it was too little too late as Taylor won with a 47.13, the fastest time in Louisiana this year.