Briana Williams of Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.) has been named the 2018-19 ALL-USA Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
The ALL-USA Girls Track and Field teams for the 2018-19 season are coordinated by Fred Baer, the founder of Track and Field Writers of America. Girls selections are made by Mike Kennedy, the high school editor of Track and Field News.
Criteria included ranking on USA TODAY Sports and Track and Field News national lists and the number of top performances along with head-to-head competition during the regular season and in major postseason meets.
Girls T&F Coach of the Year: Mike McCabe, Union Catholic
School: Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.)
Events: 100, 200
Briana Williams became the world’s fastest U-18 sprinter on June 21, setting the high school 100 meter record of 10.94 seconds. The Northeast (Oakland Park, Florida) student ran that wind-legal time (0.6 meters per second aiding), placing third at Jamaica’s National Championships in Kingston. A pair of Olympic century gold medalists, Elaine Thompson (27 years old) and Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce (32 years old), each posted 2019 world leading times of 10.73 with their tight 1-2 finish.
That race positioned Williams, 17, for a full summer representing Jamaica – to conclude with the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September, when she begins her senior year at Northeast. On July 5, she won the 100 meters in 11.11 at the NACAC U-18 Championships in Queretaro, Mexico.
The tentative summer schedule, according to her coach, Ato Boldon, includes the Junior and Senior Pan American Games and IAAF Diamond League meets in Paris and Birmingham (Great Britain).
At that Jamaica title meet, Williams ran 11.01 in the semifinals and then 10.94 in the finals “with a pretty high fever” according to Boldon’s published comments the next day. She withdrew from the 200 meters.
The former high school 100 record was 10.98 by Candace Hill of Rockdale (Conyers, Ga.) in 2015. No other high school runner had bettered 11.10 – until Williams signaled her record ambitions with a 11.02 clocking at the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque on June 8.
Last year, Williams ran the 100 in 11.13 and the 200 meters in 22.50, the latter No. 5 all-time and still her best furlong time. She won 2018 IAAF World Under 20 (Junior) titles in both sprints.
PRESEASON: ALL-USA Preseason Girls Track and Field Team
Boys T&F Athlete of the Year: Matthew Boling, Strake Jesuit
Boys T&F Coach of the Year: Stan Holloway, Oscar Smith