Raising the bar
Lackey graduate, Temple recruit Williams wows onlookers in final state meet
Throughout her career as a key member of the Lackey High School indoor and outdoor track and field teams, recent graduate Sydney Williams often seemed less inclined to talk about her accomplishments on the track and far more likely to let the results speak for themselves.
In her final days as a member of the Chargers squad, Williams gave onlookers plenty to talk about at Morgan State University in Baltimore when she captured four Class 2A state titles — one better than the triple she recorded the year before — to help the team garner its second straight state outdoor championships team title, accumulating 113 points to best Hereford of Baltimore County by nearly 50 points.
Williams, who is headed to Temple University this fall on an athletic scholarship, captured the 100-meter dash (12.17 seconds), 100 hurdles (14.50), 300 hurdles (43.44) and long jump (19 feet 1 inch) one year after she earned state titles in the 100 hurdles (14.33), 300 hurdles (45.56) and 200 (25.02). Her first effort in the long jump easily stood as the best of the day — the 19-1 mark setting a 2A record — and her second jump (17-11) was actually the second best effort in that event.
“I was very excited about winning the long jump,” Williams said after claiming four state titles at Morgan State. “That
was the first time that I had competed in that event at the state level. I never expected to go 19-1. All season long my main focus had been on the hurdles. I was happy with the way I ran those events. It all came down to being ready for this day.”
Williams had spent much of the previous three years and even the earlier part of this year competing on one or two relays, but with the state championships approaching she bypassed the baton to compete in the long jump pit. But she also needed to maintain her focus on competing in the hurdles, events she had dominated throughout the indoor and outdoor meets as a junior and senior.
“I had not really been hitting my target time in the 100 hurdles all spring,” Williams said. “But at the region meet I finally came in at 14 and then at the state meet I was hoping to go 14 low like I did last year. It was a little above what I wanted, but I was glad that I won it. I never expected to come here and win four state titles.”
Williams also gave ample credit to her teammates, include fellow sprint specialist Dominque Jeffery, the state champion in the 200 who was actually the runner-up to Williams in the 100, and relay members Daynah Desir, Erin Pearson and Taylor Williams, her younger sister, for providing ample competition during practices and meets leading up to the state meet.
“We really push each other in practice,” Williams said. “Having that type of competition on your own team just makes every one better. Having teammates like that is really important. We’ve been working hard in practice all season. Then at the meets we still come here and push each other to get faster.”
Although overshadowed somewhat by her older teammate, Jeffery performed at a high level throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons and now looms as the Chargers heir apparent to the vacancy Williams will leave behind.
“It’s been great having Sydney on the team with me,” Jeffery said. “She’s really fast and she works hard and we all push each other to get better. Having that type of competition on your own team is great. We all want to get faster and we push each other at every practice and every meet.”
North Point graduate Mallorie Smith, another Temple University recruit who rapidly grew accustomed to facing Williams and her youthful teammates over the past four years, seemed pleased to know that the accomplished Chargers runner will soon be one of her Owls teammates in Philadelphia.
“She’s really been great competition during the indoor and outdoor season,” said Smith, who won the 4A East Region title in the 200 (24.70) and the 400 (56.50) then finished fourth in those events at the 4A state championships at Morgan State. “We had a lot of good competition in SMAC. It was good being able to compete against those Lackey girls. They all push you to get better.”
Recent Lackey High School graduate and Temple University recruit Sydney Williams capped her career by capturing state titles in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles during the indoor and outdoor seasons.
North Point High School graduate Mallorie Smith, who won two Class 4A East Region titles and finished fourth in two state meet events, now joins Lackey High School graduate Sydney Williams on the track and field team at Temple University.