A Moment To Remember: LaMiaya Henderson Signs With UCLA

LaMiaya Henderson signed to her dream school in November. 

It wasn't until Monday, however, that she finally made that decision public. 

And for Henderson, who's been looking forward to this day for a long time, there was no better moment to have. She's headed to UCLA. 

"It's definitely a dream day for me," Henderson told MileSplit briefly before her announcement ceremony. "I don't know how else to explain my emotions. It's always been something for me. I'm so glad my coach has pushed me to this point. I'm so glad I worked so hard to get here." 

Henderson, a Hallsville High School senior and MileSplit honorable mention top 50 recruit, is coming off a career year, having clocked an all conditions best of 11.64w in the 100m and 23.59 in the 200m. 

She reached the Texas State Outdoor Championships in both events as a junior, finishing second in the state in the 200m and fourth in the 100m. 

Henderson followed up those performances out West. The East Texan was among the top eight finishers in the 100m at Nike Outdoor Nationals and then was ninth in the 200m. 

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At UCLA, Henderson could have an opportunity to compete right away under Bruins Director of Track and Field Avery Anderson and sprints coach Michelle Freeman, who was Henderson's primary recruiter. 

Still, the high school athlete has one more year to finish things out strong.

And if you ask Teddy Williams, Henderson's independent track coach -- a former UT-San Antonio great who once ran 9.90 seconds in the 100m and then briefly played in the NFL -- last year was the beginning of something more.

Williams said he saw Henderson's biggest growth last year. He says she's capable of competing for a Texas Class 6A state title and could even shoulder up against the best in the nation this spring.  

While recruited by Ohio State and Oregon, Williams said Henderson saw the potential at UCLA, considered one of the best public institutions in the U.S. 

"Michelle won her over," Williams said. "The recruits she's bringing in. The class she has. There was Michelle's resume and everything she brought to the table." 

The year is going to come fast. It all might for a whirlwind.

But Henderson says she's ready. 

"When you're out there running, I feel like people feel me, but they don't hear me yet," Henderson said. "I think running is an art. I make my art by running. I run, I express myself by running. This year, it's going to be the year for me. It's going to be very emotional, but I'll be so happy and I want everybody to know that."