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ATHLETICS: Sprinting sensation Delano Williams and high school coach reunited

Published:Thursday | September 25, 2014 | 1:35 PM
In this April, 2012 file photo Delano Williams jumps into the arms of coach Neil Harrison as they celebrate winning the Class One boys' 100 metres final at the National Stadium.
Delano Williams - File

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Twenty-year-old sprinter Delano Williams is again being conditioned by his former high school coach Neil Harrison, a year after leaving Munro College and joining the Racers Track Club, which is based at the University of West Indies, Mona (UWI) – where he currently studies.

Harrison, himself left the St Elizabeth-based Munro College weeks ago to take over the reins at Kingston College, essentially paving the way for a reunion with the athlete he developed into one of the best juniors to compete locally.

The Turks and Caicos-born sprinter is now being conditioned at Kingston College under instructions from Harrison, who recently became head coach at the North Street-based institution.

Williams will, however, remain a member of the Racers Track Club, with president and head coach Glen Mills yesterday expressing his endorsement of the development.

“The plan was always for him to stay close to coach (Neil) Harrison who was always aiming to work with him throughout his career, but of course that became difficult when it was time for him to move on to an institution of higher learning,” said Mills, pointing to the difficulties, which existed when the athlete had graduated from Munro and moved to UWI.

“We did a temporary adjustment so now that he (Harrison) is able to get himself back into where he can have direct contact with Delano, he is back working with him,” Mills explained. “I think it’s a good thing. I always knew that was the long-term situation so it wasn’t a problem.”

Mills, who expressed confidence in Harrison’s ability to continue the development of the athlete, was quick to underline that the 2012 World Junior 200m champion remains a part of the Racers Track Club despite not being coached at the club.

“The fact that he is not being coached by us or by me does no affect his membership at the club, he still runs for us,” Mills said.

“Harrison is a brilliant coach who has done extremely well. I think he is knowledgeable and competent enough to pilot him (Williams) in the right direction and I am certain that he will benefit because he knows him a lot more,” Mills said. “From my standpoint in think it can be a win-win situation. We have been in dialogue and we continue to have dialogue on the way forward.”

In his last year at Munro College, Williams won the sprint double at the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association Boys Championships, running a personal best 20.27 in the 200m – barely missing Usain Bolt’s 20.25 record, while taking the 100m in 10.28.

Speaking on his development while at Racers, Mills said: “The thing is he coming out of high school and that’s something that is not always appreciated, coming out of the junior ranks into the senior ranks is a great divide. Its not like going to college for four years and having an adjustment ground.”

“So being cognisant of that we don’t try to push them in the first year, we allow them to get acquainted with what t is like at this level and a sort of schooling process,” Mills added. “I think his (Williams) transition didn’t go as speedily as we would have liked but based on what he was doing and so on we think it would bear significant fruit in the second year and he himself expressed that it was a whole new world to him.”


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