THE FLATS – Georgia Tech junior hurdler Jeanine Williams was invited to Jamaica’s national team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association announced this week.
With the World Indoors (March 2-4 in Birmingham, England) scheduled for one week prior to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships (March 9-10 in College Station, Texas), Williams has elected to focus on NCAAs and not participate in the event after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference 60m hurdles championship on Feb. 24.
“I’m very happy and honored to have received the selection to the national team but sometimes you have to sacrifice one dream for another dream,” Williams said. “I chose the NCAAs over World Indoors because, being ranked No. 4 in the U.S., I feel like I have a pretty good chance at getting in the top three and I feel like I should focus on my college career right now. I also hope that at the rate that I’m going, I will have more opportunities after my college eligibility to represent Jamaica.”
“It's a dream of every athlete to represent their country and it's a great honor for Jeanine to have been selected to represent Jamaica,” head women’s coach Alan Drosky said. “Unfortunately, with the NCAA Indoor Championships the following week, the timing just wasn’t right. But we certainly hope to see Jeanine wearing the Jamaican uniform in future championships.”
One of only two collegiate student-athletes invited to represent Jamaica, Williams joined Texas’ Rushelle Burton and 14 other women in the initial selection. The ACC Champion and two-time ACC Performer of the Week earned her first selection to the senior team after representing Jamaica at the 2016 IAAF World Junior Championships.
The Kingston, Jamaica native has been a standout this season for the Yellow Jackets hurdles team, lowering her personal best from 8.30 a season ago to 8.02 currently. The mark ranks as fastest in the ACC, fourth-fastest in the NCAA and is the 22nd-fastest time in the world. Williams is the highest-ranking Jamaican ahead of Monique Morgan’s 8.09 (36th) and Daeshon Gordon and Janeek Brown’s 8.15 (60th).