* Benson High School senior Micah Williams made his collegiate decision on Wednesday
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Micah Williams, the top remaining unsigned bluechip sprint recruit, made his collegiate decision final on Wednesday, signing with the University of Oregon.
He announced his decision live on MileSplit's Instagram.
"It's special," Williams said ahead of his signing on Tuesday. "It means a lot to move on to Oregon. I'll be one of the many kids who go on to run track for Oregon, but the one thing I wanted to do was leave a legacy in my community. That's a big part."
A senior at Benson High School in Portland, Oregon, Williams is a late steal for the Ducks, which also picked up leading decathlete Jett Kinder, distance standout Evan Holland and Texas mid-distance talent Michael Abeyta during the National Letter of Intent Period.
Williams was recruited by Ducks' associate head coach and sprint coach Curtis Taylor.
The No. 6 ranked recruit in MileSplit's Class of 2020, Williams is superbly talented sprinter, producing both on the indoor and outdoor oval. He considered Louisiana State University and the University of Southern California before deciding three weeks ago that, "this was the best fit for me."
But he has history with his hometown university, having competing on legendary Hayward Field before its demolition.
He'll be among Oregon's first collegiate class at the new stadium -- and this spring, pending a qualification to the Oregon State Track and Field Championships, he'll be one of the first athletes to race at the stadium, he said.
Williams' hopes this spring season, he says, are potentially going after a USA Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100m. He hopes to run sub-10.05 seconds in the 100m dash. If that doesn't happen, he said, he wants to continue his final season into the summer, with a potential qualification to the the IAAF World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
But no doubt, Williams is proud of the road he's travelled to get here. Few sprinters, he said, have come out of the state -- from a public high school in the Portland region -- and signed with the state's premier track and field college program.
"A lot of people around me didn't think I could make it out in track," he said. "They said you had to go to a private school. But I knew if you put the work and time, it was possible."
Williams finished the 2019 indoor season ranked US No. 1 in both the 55m (6.17) and 60m (6.60) and it was in the ladder race where he won a New Balance Nationals Indoor title.
While he focused primarily on the 60m indoors, he saw great consistently at the distance, posting three efforts under 6.7 seconds and three more under 6.8 seconds as a junior. He added one effort of 23.65 seconds in the 200m.
Outdoors, Williams faced adversity with an injury that derailed his postseason hopes. But he managed to post a wind-legal US No. 2 time of 10.21 (-0.4) seconds in the 100m at the Nike/Jesuit Relays in May and went a wind-legal 21.03 seconds in the 200m at the Arcadia Invitational, a US No. 18 time.
As a sophomore, he posted three sub-10.5 second times in the 100m and three sub-21.20 efforts in the 200m. He won two individual state titles that same season.
Williams' versatility even extended to the 400m, where he posted three times under 49 seconds in 2019, including a top effort of 48.02 seconds in March.
Williams said he couldn't have gotten to this point without his coaches at Benson, Leon McKenzie or John Mays, and says their coaching led to his passion for the sport, which began as early as the fourth grade.
"They saw my potential," he said.
Next up for Williams will be his indoor debut at the University of Washington. The senior sprinter will focus on the 60m at two indoor invitationals, then will take his efforts to New York, where he will look to repeat as a national champion at New Balance Nationals Indoor.
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