Jared Williams: On track for another record-setting season

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It all happens in the span of seconds. The echo of “runners on your mark….set…..” and the bang of a gun breaks the silence. One breath later, junior Jared Williams is off, flying forward, his feet hardly touching the rubber. Did he get a false start? How is he so far ahead of the other runners? He’s finished before the competition have even looked up!

A familiar scene for Williams during his track career. With herculean speed, he has already distinguished himself from other runners. Williams ran both the 200m and 400m event at the New Balance Indoor Nationals on March 9 and 10th. His second trip to the prestigious, invite-only meet.

Williams first ran track his freshman year at St. Pius X. After wrapping up the basketball season, Williams had an open spring season and wanted to stay active, so he decided to run track.

“I had always been the fastest on my teams so I decided to give it a shot.” Most athletes at the top of their sport started at young ages, but in his case, track was just another sport he picked up in the offseason, said Williams.

Racing for both St. Pius and the Sprint Athletics Track Club, Williams competes all around Georgia and the southeast. In two seasons, Williams said he has managed to “win state in the 200m, make it to the Junior Olympics, race in the New Balance Nationals, and be named an All-American; something light like that.”

While the rest of us hope that he saves some awards for the rest of America, Williams said he’s hoping to “make the under-20 USA team and eventually run in the Olympics.”

His accomplishments already have him running through college recruiters’ minds. “At my last meet, there were dozens of recruiters, so there was a lot of pressure riding on me,” Williams said.

According to Williams, many schools have reached out including LSU, Clemson, Tennessee, Louisville, and Alabama. “Just some smaller schools,” as Williams put it.

When Williams steps on the track, it’s all business. “I always say the same prayer, ‘God give me the ability to run.’ Then, I thank my coaches, friends, and parents.”

Stepping up to the line and setting his feet on the blocks, he clears his mind. “I don’t really think when I run, I just ….. run,” he explained. Clear-minded, Williams said he focuses on strategy and technique while keeping it simple and doing what he does best, and with such short events, some lasting less than 10 seconds, there is no time for error or distractions.

Williams credits his success to his support system. In any video or clips of races, one can hear Williams’ family and fans, most notably his dad, as the whole facility booms with “LET’S GO, BIG J! THEY DON’T WANT IT, BIG J! GO AHEAD, BIG J!” In addition to his father, his club coach, Coach Merriweather, keeps him motivated.  

Among the events he runs, Williams’ favorite event “has gotta be the 400,” while his least favorite event is “probably the 100, it’s too short.” Williams has definitely made a name for himself in the running community, as his name continues to rise on state and national rankings.

With his third outdoor season on the horizon, Williams has his eyes set on a back-to-back 200m state title while picking up a few other accolades.