AAU Spotlight: Briana Williams
Briana Nichole Williams was born in Coral Springs, Florida, on March 21st, 2002. Innocent and full of heart, Briana mastered every activity I placed her in. At the age of three, Briana started ballet and tap-dance, which she did for 4 years. She then went on to do gymnastics and tennis. At the age of 8, she asked me “if she could run.” Those were her exact words - ”run” - until she learned the word “track”.
This may have been an assimilated interest of hers, because I was always watching track and field. I had a sports background in Jamaica. I grew up in an athletic family. In 2011, I took Briana to the Miramar Optimist Track Club, to sign up. The first races she ran, she won, and she has enjoyed running ever since.
At the start of the 2012 season, Briana was determined to be national champion, after being beaten at Nationals in 2011. At the beginning of the season, Briana started training with Coach Tennessee and Ato Boldon, who she now calls ‘Uncle Ato’. After learning of father’s death, Ato and Briana have had a father-daughter relationship, as well as coach.
Briana’s reign as Junior Olympic National Champion started in 2012, and she has been champion every year since, including 2015. At the end of this year’s track season, a season in which she trained exclusively at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, she recorded her best results ever, including a wind-aided 11.72 seconds for the 100 meter-dash, and she was the recipient of a full scholarship to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where she now attends and resides.
Briana continues to display talent and an unbridled passion for track and field - especially the sprints, and is certainly a name to watch for the immediate future.