Amazing run! - Williams threatens national junior record
CARIFTA Games bronze medallist Brianna Williams provided the Jamaican highlight on the first weekend of the US outdoor track and field season with a sizzling run over 100 metres. Competing in Jacksonville, Florida, at the Bob Hayes Invitational, the 15-year-old Williams zoomed a near perfect race to finish in 11.13 seconds. That's just 0.01 secondsoff the national under-20 record held by Veronica Campbell-Brown.
Already known for the fast start that helped her to third place in the 2017 Carifta Under-18 100 metres, the Ato Boldon-coached Williams sprinted fluently to the finish to become the fastest 15-year-old of all time. The old standard - 11.17 seconds - was established by American Marion Jones in 1991. Aided by a legal wind of 1.7 metres per second, her time also supplanted the Jamaica Under-18 record of 11.24 seconds by Kevona Davis.
Williams, who turns 16 on March 21, crushed her previous best of 11.30 seconds. Just a fortnight earlier, she dominated the Jamaican Carifta Trials with big wins in the 100 and 200 metres. Her run in Jacksonville matched the second-fastest ever by a Jamaican junior, which is the Boys and Girls' Championships Class One record set by Campbell-Brown for Vere Technical in 2001.
Campbell-Brown, who went on to be Olympic and World champion, was almost 19 at that time.
The weekend also saw an outdoor season debut for 2016 Carifta champion Timor Barrett, 800m ace Natoya Goule, combination sprinter Collin Sewell, hurdler Jeanine Williams and Olympic and World Championships 100m silver medallist Kerron Stewart. Stewart opened her 2018 season with victory, in 11.48 seconds, in the 100 metres at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta.
At that same meet, Williams starred in her home track at Georgia Tech University with a notable 100 metre hurdles win in 13.19 seconds.
Goule ventured into the 1,500 metres at the 49er Classic in Charlie, North Carolina, and found winning success in 4 minutes 19.60 seconds. This is the first meet since the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham for the three-time NCAA 800m champion. At the same meet, Barrett won the 400 metre hurdles in 51.37 seconds to encourage new Johnson C Smith University head coach Leford Green, a 2012 Olympic finalist.
Barrett's former St Jago colleague, Collin Sewell, started with a win at the Hurricane Invitational on the University of Miami campus. Sewell, now a student-athlete at Long Island University, Brooklyn, won the 400 metres in 47.62 seconds.