Watch Ashley Run
Ashley Williams is fast and confident. By the time the five-day ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships end on March 19, her name could be on everybody's lips.
Recently, the outgoing Holmwood Technical High School senior won a fine Class One 200-400 metres double at Central Championships, with the promise of more to come.
At Central Champs, she first won the 400m in 52.72 seconds. That time would have won the Class One gold medal at Champs last year. She returned to win the 200m in 23.80 seconds.
Third in the 2015 Girls' Champs 400m, she revealed her confidence in a trackside interview. "Ashley Williams right now is not in full shape," she said pointedly. "This is just a piece of Ashley," the petite Holmwood student-athlete explained.
"Come Champs this year, you'll see the whole Ashley," she asserted.
Asked what she was working to improve on, she said: "Improving my 400m, because I want to run 51 at Champs."
Sonita Sutherland, Shericka Jackson and Chris-Ann Gordon are the only girls ever to have produced 51-second times over the one-lap distance at Champs. If she achieves her goal, she will extend her school's tradition in the 400m, as two-time World Junior silver medal winner Sutherland and Gordon both attended Holmwood.
Ashley will enter the championships as co-favourite for the 400m if Junelle Bromfield of St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) elects to contest the event. The talented STETHS girl is most pundits' top pick for the Class One 800m and the open 400m hurdles. At the recent Western Championships, Bromfield ran solo to a 400m victory in 52.43.
They met on the anchor leg of the 4x400m at the Gibson-McCook Relays. Williams' Holmwood team triumphed over the previously undefeated STETHS team anchored by Bromfield.
Williams finished third in the Champs Class One 400 last year, but those ahead of her Dawnlee Loney and Tiffany James are no longer eligible for Champs.