Anointed the next big thing in track and field by NBC award-winning commentator Ato Boldon, Miramar Optimist phenom Briana Williams, 11, is living up to the hype.
To cap her second consecutive undefeated season, Williams made it look easy in winning the 100 and 200 meters at the AAU Junior Olympics at Eastern Michigan University on Saturday.
“I am very happy because I worked hard to get to this place,’’ Williams said. “I don’t want anybody to take my titles so I work hard and don’t play around in practice.”
Williams clocked 12.86 to win the Sub Midget 100 meters title. Williams’ closest competitor was Imani Dupree who finished in 13.08. In the 200, Williams clocked 25.91, to easily beat Ashton Lindley (26.23).
It was business as usual for Williams, whose meteoric rise in the youth track world has yielded the perk of snapping pictures with sprint great Tyson Gay before the meet and having Sanya Richards-Ross on speed dial.
“This year’s championship was a little easier, “ Williams said. “I got the hang of the Junior Olympics from last year and I practiced harder.”
Last Summer in Houston she cruised to titles in the 100 and 200 before sparking Miramar Optimists’ 400-meter relay team to a USA Track and Field Junior Olympics record time of 52.91.
Williams’ five gold medals in USATF Junior Olympics and AAU Junior Olympics competition made her a national sensation and resulted in her hometown Miramar giving her the keys to the city and a declaration proclaiming Sep. 24 as “Briana Williams” Day.
“Briana is just a step ahead of everybody else right now at that age group,’’ said Miramar Optimist coach Chris Bell. “She always knows when to turn it on and come in first place. She is extremely strong. She might have another year or two before she loses another race.”