Will The Best Girls Sprinter In The Country Please Stand Up
It should be a fun spring in the girls sprints.
While the indoor season has seen the reemergence of Denver East (CO) High junior Arria Minor and has witnessed the brief, prodigious talent of Gainesville (FL) High freshman Tamari Davis, the outdoor season could highlight a whole new crop of athletes.
Briana Williams could very well be the best sprinter in the country this season. As a sophomore.
The Jamaican national, who transferred from Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Prep (FL) to Oakland Park Northeast High this school year, finished with the second fastest wind-legal mark of the season in 2017, going 11.30 (+1.6) at the PUMA/JAAA National Junior Games in June.
She opened up her 2018 season in the 200m at the Louie Bing Classic on Feb. 18, going a US No. 1 mark of 23.77 (-1.0) before following on Saturday in a CARIFTA Games Qualifier with a wind-legal 11.53 (-1.0) effort in the 100m, giving her a new US No. 1.
Williams is coached by legendary sprinter and NBC analyst Ato Boldon. She also went an all conditions US No. 1 in the 200m of 23.24 (+2.4).
So the question remains: Will Williams translate this early success to year round dominance?
That can't be answered quite yet, though she's shown enough equivalence at either distance. With CARIFTA Games qualifying leading to another big-advancement in competition, she no doubt will continue to showcase her rare ability. And Boldon, who guided his first high school athlete, Khalifa St. Fort, to 11.18 (0.9) in 2016, will once again have another sprinter capable of breaking records.
Still, we shouldn't forget about Minor, either. She hasn't begun her spring season just yet.
And the same goes for Davis -- as an eighth-grader, she had a wind-legal 11.65 (-0.8) on file and has the top returning mark in the 200m with a 23.26 (+1.8).
Beyond those two, the top returning sprinter from last season, Dallas Carter (TX) High's Sha'carri Richardson, is back on the track and ready to set it on fire.
In fact, the top 10 returning 100m sprinters all have an argument to make. They could finish the year as national champions, too. The list is quite the gauntlet.
2017 Returners In The 100m