Danielle Williams' Hall of Fame recognition a blessing says Coach Lennox Graham

By April 20, 2020
Coach Lennox Graham and Division II Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Williams Coach Lennox Graham and Division II Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Williams

Danielle Williams, the 2019 World Championship bronze medallist, says she is humbled that she will be enshrined into the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 Class.

As Sportsmax.tv reported last week, the 27-year-old Jamaican, the 2019 Diamond League champion, was a dominant force in Division II athletics during her time as a student of Johnson C Smith University.

Between 2013 and 2014, Williams won nine NCAA titles (eight individual, one relay), 13 CIAA championships (11 individual, two relays), earned 13 All-America honours and was named either USTFCCCA National Women’s Indoor Track or Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year three times.

Williams turned in arguably the greatest two-day performance in NCAA DII history, at the 2013 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Pueblo, Colorado.

In what she described as her crowning moment, Williams scored 30½ points thanks to event titles in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay, as well as a runner-up finish in the 100 Hurdles. She set current divisional records in the 200 (22.62) and 4×100 relay (44.05), clocked the second-fastest performance in divisional history in the 100H (12.89) and notched the fifth-fastest performance in the 100 (11.24).

“It’s an honour to be inducted in the Division-2 Hall of Fame. If anybody knows me, they know I am really humbled by this accomplishment. I take pride in my collegiate career because I really had a wonderful career. Every accomplishment that I had set out to achieve I pretty much met and surpassed so I am incredibly honoured and it is moving to me to know that I did my best and it is now being recognised,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

Meanwhile, her coach Lennox Graham described the induction as an ‘awesome achievement’ for the athletes whom he has since guided to a world title in 2015 and the bronze medal in Doha in 2019.

“This is her moment of glory. I was blessed to be in the support role for her, mentoring her through those times, some difficult, some not so difficult, but it is pleasing and its an honour to be part of a journey like that,” said Graham who has two other athletes – Shermaine Williams (Danielle’s sister) and Leford Green, in the Division II Hall of Fame.

“It’s just a blessing. I feel like the hard work put in is recognized and I am so happy for her. As she journeys on, she will never forget this day when she was recognised among her peers as a Hall of Famer, something that most of us won’t live to have behind our names. So to be associated with one is just a blessing.”

 

 

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

  • Shaunae Miller-Uibo calls foul, questions Salwa Eid Naser exoneration Shaunae Miller-Uibo calls foul, questions Salwa Eid Naser exoneration

    Shaunae-Miller-Uibo has called foul on the decision to dismiss charges against Salwa Eid Nasser and has called for the formation of an independent athletes’ body in a bid to maintain the integrity of the sport.

  • In Honour Of: Merlene Ottey, her legendary achievements must never be forgotten In Honour Of: Merlene Ottey, her legendary achievements must never be forgotten

    I recently had a rather eye-opening conversation with an 18-year old about one of Jamaica’s greatest ever female sprinters Merlene Joyce Ottey.

    I would say this young man has a strong working knowledge of sports but especially of Jamaican athletes and their accomplishments.

    It, therefore, struck me by surprise when the name Merlene Ottey did not resonate with him, certainly not in the way I would have expected.

    It isn’t that he hadn’t heard the name before but the significance of it did not immediately dawn on him, not in the way speaking of a modern star like Usain Bolt or Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce would.  Sadly, I find this of most I speak to from the younger generation.

    I will admit when Ottey was in her prime his generation would not have been born but to me, she is such a legendary figure that her legacy of placing Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean on the female track and field map must never be forgotten.

    And so, I took the opportunity to educate this youngster about Ottey and her stunning career, from becoming the first English-speaking Caribbean female to win an Olympic medal in 1980, to her switch to and subsequent major appearances for Slovenia post the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

    I especially focused on some narrow misses for World and Olympic 100 metres gold at the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships and the 1996 Olympics, on both occasions narrowly, and some would say controversially, losing to American Gail Devers.

    This young man seemed in awe, as he should be.

    “She was cute too,” he said as he watched the 1993 IAAF World Championship 200 metres final when she finally won a global outdoor gold medal.

    So many youngsters are unaware of the history and believe Jamaica’s track and field success started at the Beijing Games with Bolt and company.

    But since 1948, the world has respected what we have offered in the global track and field space and for 20 years 1980-2000, Ottey stood front and centre as the leading figure not only but especially for women in the English-speaking Caribbean.  

    She won nine Olympic medals, including 7 in individual events, the most by any woman in track and field.

    She backed that up with 14 World Outdoor medals and 7 World Indoor medals and she still holds the 200m world indoor record at 21.87 seconds.

    Just this week, Ottey was again recognised at the National Honours and Awards ceremony on Heroes’ Day, receiving the country’s fourth highest honour, The Order of Jamaica.

    This is a well-deserved and timely reminder of the greatness of the woman.

    She was dubbed “Bronze Queen” as 15 of her 30 global medals, indoors and out, were of that variety.  She had many narrow misses for gold but Merlene Ottey’s impact in inspiring generations of Caribbean female sprinters is worth honouring and celebrating even to this day.

    So, this is in honour of Merlene Ottey.

    May we never forget her impact on Jamaica, the Caribbean, and indeed global track and field.  

  • Salwa Eid Naser anti-doping charges dismissed Salwa Eid Naser anti-doping charges dismissed

    World 400 metres champion Salwa Eid Naser has had anti-doping violation charges dismissed by a World Athletics tribunal.

    The 22-year-old, who won gold in Doha last year with the third-fastest time in history of 48.14 seconds, was provisionally suspended in June after being charged with four whereabouts violations.

    She was charged with a filing failure dated to March 16 last year, effective of January 1, and three missed tests on March 12, 2019, April 12, 2019 and January 24, 2020.

    Naser admitted to missing three drug tests but insisted it was "normal" and "can happen to anybody" and made it clear she has "never been a cheat".

    One of the four charges was dismissed because the doping control officer, confused by the numbering of the apartments where Naser lives, accidentally knocked on a storage-room door rather than her residence.

    World Athletics said "it would be wrong to be critical" of the official as he "committed to do everything possible to locate and test the athlete", including returning to the address later that day before seeing if she was present at the Bahraini National Stadium.

    Because the other missed tests were not within a 12-month period, Naser has not violated anti-doping rules.

    However, in its ruling, the tribunal warned Naser that her missed test in January 2020 still stands against her and strongly advised that she seeks advice in using the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) to prevent future complications.

    "This was a case very much on the borderline, and we hope the athlete will learn from the experience and heed the AIU's warnings," the tribunal said.

    The AIU has 30 days in which to appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Popular Athletics News

Error: No articles to display

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.