* Last March, Briana Williams won the 60m at New Balance Nationals Indoor
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
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Months removed from the most stressful period of her young career, Briana Williams is readying for her indoor track and field debut on January 11 in South Carolina.
Since being found of 'no fault' from the Independent Anti-Doping Panel in September following a positive drug test -- Williams took an over-the-counter flu remedy which had a banned diuretic in its components -- the young 17-year-old sprinter from Florida has kept a low profile, deciding in September to withdraw from the World Athletics Championships, a competition she had qualified for in June at the Jamaican Senior Track and Field Championships.
It was there, at the Championships, where Williams had the best race of her young career, finishing third at 100 meters in a wind-legal time of 10.94 (+0.6) seconds, which broke the high school national record -- though World Athletics did not ratify the effort, nullifying a potential World U18 record. Still, she became just the second high school athlete to ever break the elusive 11 second mark.
Over five months later, Williams will run unattached in her first race of the winter season at Clemson University's Orange & Purple Elite Invitational.
Williams will be entered in the 60m, with eyes on the high school national record of 7.19 seconds, which was last accomplished in 2004 by Liberty (DC) High School's Ashley Owens. The World Junior Record in the 60m is 7.07 and is held by Poland's Ewa Swoboda, who produced the feat in 2016.
Williams' personal best is 7.28 seconds, a time she posted in March to win an elite high school field at New Balance Nationals Indoor.
Her coach, Ato Boldon, said Williams is in a good position to run faster at the start of the season, mentioning "she's had a phenomenal offseason."
While still a high school senior, she hasn't run in a high school uniform since the Florida State Track and Field Championships, where she was a member of the Oakland Park Northeast's relay squad. Her last individual race in a high school uniform was last March in Hallandale, Florida.
Williams will follow her debut with a place on the line at the Millrose Games on February 8.