Briana Williams is Track & Field News High School Girls Athlete of the Year

By October 24, 2019

Track & Field News, widely recognized as the bible of the sport, has named Jamaica’s Briana Williams as the 2019 High School Girls Athlete of the Year.

The 17-year-old Williams won 14 of 19 votes for the top spot over Valor High School’s Anna Hall and Chloe Cunliffe of West Seattle, who were second and third, respectively.

She was thankful for the recognition.

“It’s an honour to be named the Track & Field News High School Athlete of the Year,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“A lot of amazing athletes have gotten this title and to be named amongst them is astonishing and humbling because people have seen all the hard work I’ve put in for last season as a junior in high school. Thank you Track & Field News!”

However, according to the magazine, Williams lost more than one ballot because of the doping issue that overshadowed her year and the fact that she did not compete for her high school, Northeast High in Oakland Park, Florida, last season.

Williams missed representing Jamaica at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar in September when she tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) after setting what would have been a World U18 record 10.94s while finishing third in the 100m finals at the Jamaican National Championships in June.

She was reprimanded with no period of ineligibility by an independent anti-doping disciplinary panel in late September, 72 hours before the start of the IAAF World Championships in Doha.

With the deadline for entries set for the following day, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) entered Jonielle Williams in the 100m at Williams’ expense.

Notwithstanding the disappointing end to the season, she enjoyed tremendous success. She won the Austin Sealy Award for the second year running at the 2019 Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands in April after securing her second golden treble (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay) in as many years at the championships.

She also won the NACAC U18 100m title in Mexico in July and the Pan Am U20 title in Costa Rica later that month. She also won the 100m at the Greater Southwest Classic in New Mexico in early June in what was then a personal best 11.02.

Her coach, Ato Boldon, believes that Track&Field News’ recognition was a welcome one given the unfortunate end to the season.

“It feels good to be able to salvage something from what was for me a ‘lost’ season,” he told Sportsmax.TV on Thursday.

“It appears they will recognize her 10.94 as a national high school record as well. She was the dominant high school sprinter this year with five performances at 11.11 or better and a couple of sub-23s to boot, so I believe she has more than earned this one.”

He said that Williams stands to use this past season as a stepping stone for what is to come in 2020, an Olympic year in which she intends to make up for what could have been in 2019.

“She went to the World Championships in Doha and watched 10.9 and 22.5 win medals in the 100m and 200m. She knows she would have been a potential medallist this year because she ran 22.5 last year and 10.9 this year and she always sets PRs at championships,” he said, noting that there will be a difference in training this year.

For the first time in her short career with Born to Do It, Williams will be without her training partner, Trinidad and Tobago’s Khalifa St Fort, who parted ways with the club last season. So far, Boldon said, it has not affected the Jamaican speedster.

“This is the first off-season that she has started without a training partner to pace off of so I have been watching her carefully and she has responded well. I asked her if she thought that was lacking and she said ‘no, I am stepping up this season, I don’t need one.”

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • CWI appoints Chris Brabazon as coach-education manager CWI appoints Chris Brabazon as coach-education manager

    A Level 2 coaching course which begins on Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica signals the start of the tenure of Chris Brabazon as Coach Education Manager, a new role created as part of CWI’s strategy to strengthen and invest in the development of coaching talent within the region. Chris has immediately travelled to Jamaica to observe the delivery of the Level 2 course.

    Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, welcomed Brabazon to CWI and highlighted the selection of Brabazon to the position.

    “I am delighted to welcome Chris to the Caribbean where he will be taking up the role of CWI’s first full-time Coach Education Manager.  His appointment is a critical feature of our strategic plan to produce world-class players and winning teams through the development of West Indian coaches,” Adams said.

    “Chris brings a wealth of experience having held a similar role of Coach Development Manager in Western Australia for the past six years.

    “He has worked at every level of the Cricket Australia coaching development pathway, from grassroots to international level, and is well-placed to drive CWI’s objective of developing our coach education programs.  I have no doubt that Chris will play a significant role in advancing our regional game and am very excited to be working with him on improving coaching standards throughout the Caribbean.”

    Speaking on his appointment, Brabazon was delighted to join the legacy of West Indies Cricket.

    “I am incredibly excited to join the team at CWI. In particular, I am looking forward to meeting and working with the coaches and coach developers throughout the Caribbean to ensure that all local players have access to inspirational learning environments that fosters their love of cricket.”

    Brabazon holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, with over twelve (12) years’ experience specifically in cricket. He has functioned in coaching and talent development, as well as cricket management and accounting in his native Australia.

  • Minister of Sport says YASCO redevelopment almost complete Minister of Sport says YASCO redevelopment almost complete

    Antigua & Barbuda Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, believes the YASCO Sports Complex, a facility that functioned in a state of disrepair and the only track and field facility on the island, will have it’s refurbishments complete in short order.

    According to Matthew, the workers are preparing to carry out the final phase of work before the laying the new surface of the track.

    “They have done all of the preparatory work in terms of the sub-base and everything, so the final layer is to start going on, and I am told it’s supposed to be about five or six day’s work, and it cures for, I think, two weeks and then the rubber goes down,” he said.

    The YASCO facility has been the subject of embarrassment for the country on a number of occasions with promises for its upgrade going unfulfilled on a number of occasions.

    Add the high-profile athletes Cejhae Greene and Miguel Francis, to a growing list who refuse to use the facilities and the news takes on even greater value for the island.

    “We’re expecting someone here this week [from track builders Mondo] and so between myself and the president of the NOC [EP Chet Greene], I’ve sent off some correspondents to PASO and Mondo because we have to proceed. We don’t want to continue to delay the laying of that final layer of asphalt because there is a lifespan on things like the adhesive which we’ve had for a while,” he said. 

    The news contrasts a previous announcement from president of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association, Everton Conelius, who said persistent rains were causing delays that could amount to another five months of delays.

  • Hernan Borja ready to defend Alacran Jamaica Open title Hernan Borja ready to defend Alacran Jamaica Open title

    Defending Jamaica Open champion Hernan Borja said he is ready to defend his title as the Jamaica Open tees off on Thursday at the Tryall Golf Course in Hanover.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.