Saturday, June 3, 2017

HU hurdler Jaelen Williams has come a long way, and he's just getting started

HAMPTON, Virginia -- Having come so far in a relatively short period of time, Hampton University hurdler Jaelen Williams didn't go into last weekend's NCAA East Regional Qualifier with a timid approach. If anything, his coach feared he was teetering in the opposite direction.

So Maurice Pierce went to work.

"He was so amped up," Pierce said. "He said, 'Coach, I'm going to run a 49.5, I'm going to do some damage out here!' I said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, you don't have to do all that! This meet here is just to advance.'

"He's so good that sometimes you have to calm him down because he gets antsy. I wanted him to concentrate on winning his section and advancing to the nationals. We can chase a time when we get there."

There is the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Nationals in Eugene, Ore. — a.k.a., Track Town USA. Williams will be the only freshman of 24 competitors in the 400-meter hurdles when the preliminaries begin Wednesday night.

Last weekend in Lexington, Ky., he automatically qualified by winning his heat with a PR time of 50.32 seconds. That came only four weeks after he ran a 51.42 in the Penn Relays. And, assuming he heeded Pierce's advice, he wasn't even running all out.


No comments: