Williams eager to improve

Freshman Lauryn Williams has done more than just make her mark on the Miami Hurricanes this season. However, that has not stopped Williams from drawing out improved plans for the future.

With her first year winding down, Williams is set to compete in the Penn Relays this weekend, in Philadelphia. The 100-meter specialist will continue to try to impress scouts from all over the country, some which did not recruit Williams coming out of high school. Nevertheless, Williams could not have been happier with the way things turned out this season.

“The season has been fantastic, and I couldn’t have asked for more,” Williams said. “I wasn’t expecting anything as spectacular as some of the things I’ve done, and I just take that in stride.”

Born and raised in Rochester, Pennsylvania, the 5-3 Williams anchored the Rochester High track and field squad for several years. Her accomplishments included setting state records in both the 100 and 200-meter events, while also winning the state championship in the 4 x 100 relay. A four-year class president, Williams was named to the 100 and 200-meter relay All-American team, her junior and senior year.

Those accomplishments helped her acceptance to the Miami program, but Williams’ attitude is what impressed Hurricanes coach Amy Deem.

“She was such a pleasant kid to recruit, very upbeat and easy to talk to,” Deem said. “That’s the same personality she has brought to school this year.”

Deem’s enthusiastic attitude towards Williams heavily contributed to the Pennsylvanian’s decision to attend the University of Miami. Although Williams enjoyed the South Florida heat, she found that the transition to the college level was not easy.

“It’s been tough, but I have made it with very little problems,”Williams said. “The biggest thing was that I didn’t practice much in high school, and now I’m in full training, two or three hours a day.”

Eventually, Williams adapted to the grueling training schedule, and was able to set Miami records in both the 55 and 60-meter events during indoor season. However, her best showing came during the Hurricanes final home meet of the season, the Gatorade Classic Apr. 13. There, Williams set a Cobb Stadium record in the 100-meter with a time of 11.44. Williams also had a strong showing in the 200-meter event, finishing second to teammate Wylleshia Myrick, and posting a time of 23.91.

“All the girls want to show off for your family and friends,” Williams said. “Whenever you get a chance to host one, you have to show off for everyone and I wanted to show that University of Miami track and field deserves some recognition.”

Following the Penn Relays, the Hurricanes travel to Storrs, Connecticut for the Big East Championships, which begin May 3. Williams has high hopes for the rest of the season, and much of that has to due with her coach.

“I trust her (Deem) whole heartedly,” Williams said. “I’d sign my life over to her, if I had to. I know she has a plan for greatness, and that’s why I’m doing so well.”

Deem has been happy with Williams’s progress throughout the season, and has high expectations for the freshman before she graduates, particularly off the field.

“Eventually, Lauren is going to bring a lot of leadership,” Deem said. “She is a good student, and interested in everything that goes on in the athletic department, and is a great person to represent the athletic department, as well as track and field.”