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Briana Williams as gAOY choice [turns pro]

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  • Briana Williams as gAOY choice [turns pro]

    I have been a fan of the Track and Field News magazine ever since I first became involved with high school girls track and field as a coach. So for about 4 decades I have been heading to the newsstand or my mailbox and now the "webernet" to see who ran a top time or won a championship. But the one issue in my time as a reader and subscriber that I have always looked forward to the most is the All America Team/Athlete of the Year issue. This year was a little different as we didn't get a full representation of the female high school awards as we all had to wait for the Briana Williams positive drug test at the Jamaica World Championships qualifying meet to be adjudicated. With Ms. Williams handlers and lawyers having adequately put up a defense that exonerated her, T&FN decided to give the female athlete of the year award to Briana.

    Here is where I am a little disappointed as I had hoped that an athlete I have some association with would win and get the recognition she so richly deserved as she continued to rewrite the high school record book in the female heptathlon. Yet she had to settle for second place and the month long wait to have her hopes dashed. I am not complaining about the process or the actions of people who although I have seen in person wouldn't know me from "Adam", or the opinion of people who oversee this website and magazine as it is their responsibility to the bottom line and to provide content that will keep readers such as myself coming back.

    What I am disappointed in is the air of confusion and dramatic results around an award that should have none of those things. Who wins an arbitrary award based on the opinion of a group of writers is always going to be subjective and also what opinion the person reading the article has about who won. But here I am a little confused as to what constitutes the criteria for this award? Briana Williams while attending and participating in track and field meets and competitions in the United States still represents her native country Jamaica in any international competitions. Also having court proceedings delay the presentation of an award will draw controversy to that award not to mention the fact that those court proceedings were again held in another country, about a race in that country where the athlete in question failed a drug test. No matter the reason for Briana Williams acquittal and exoneration how is this relative to an United States of America award. If this were a world wide award, which it isn't, I would fully understand the delay. So one has to wonder is the intent to add controversy and drama to an already arbitrary and subjective process?
    Last edited by gh; 01-17-2020, 11:57 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by eman2001 View Post
    But here I am a little confused as to what constitutes the criteria for this award? Briana Williams while attending and participating in track and field meets and competitions in the United States still represents her native country Jamaica in any international competitions.
    So did Mondo Duplantis.

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    • #3
      Difference being Mondo also represented his high school, having competed not only at regionals and state, but in multiple events as well.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by highjumpfan View Post
        Difference being Mondo also represented his high school, having competed not only at regionals and state, but in multiple events as well.
        But Mondo was in a different situation, with his family having a long history linked to Louisiana and school.

        As for Williams, she had a AAF; I do not think that she failed a drug test. There is a difference and it is important. Note that if she were not competing there for Jamaica (and instead went the Junior route?) I think that this would not have arisen and I doubt that the Post 86 would have been written, even though the basic complaint, representing Jamaica would have been the same. Clearly, some of those involved with making the decision on AOY wanted to see what would happen, so the delay was understandable and almost inevitable.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 26mi235 View Post
          But Mondo was in a different situation, with his family having a long history linked to Louisiana and school.

          As for Williams, she had a AAF; I do not think that she failed a drug test. There is a difference and it is important. Note that if she were not competing there for Jamaica (and instead went the Junior route?) I think that this would not have arisen and I doubt that the Post 86 would have been written, even though the basic complaint, representing Jamaica would have been the same. Clearly, some of those involved with making the decision on AOY wanted to see what would happen, so the delay was understandable and almost inevitable.
          There were 85 posts before I chimed in on this matter so the thread which reads "Jamaican Sprinter Alleged Failed Test" wasn't a minor issue when it happened. My post was on the delay on making a decision about who the girls high school "AOY". T&FN didn't make a decision at the time that it usually did even though they did so for the boys high school "AOY" but waited until a decision could be made on why there was a positive reading on Briana Willaims drug test "A" and "B" samples. I further point out that the incident in question happened while she was competing to become a member of the Jamaican National team in Jamaica that was to be sent to the IAAF Track and Field World Championships. So T&FN was waiting why a another country was making a decision about an athlete that was trying to make that countries national team to decide on who the American girls high school"AOY" was to be.

          That's the slippery slope that T&FN found themselves on because had they made Briana Williams the "AOY" before the matter was cleared up and she had not been cleared of the positive reading then they would've had to explain to everyone why they gave the award to someone who had turned up with a positive result on a drug screening.

          My point being why open yourself up for criticism at all which at this moment I am free to do so as a citizen of the United States and a member and subscriber of this web-page and bulletin board. Also in future postings that I make to any thread on this board I would like to not be told that I shouldn't be able to express my opinion. I am not trolling or being inflammatory just expressing an opinion that I had formulated using my 35 years of experiences while coaching track and field as a reference.

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          • #6
            Had Ms. Williams chosen to compete as a US athlete, made the team and had the same potential violation arise leading to whatever the legal process would be taking its course under the same timeframe, would it have been a problem?

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            • #7
              So we should anoint an AAOY, Almost Athlete of the Year. Since she has NO Peds issue (now) what is your point, anyone that has the possibility of a Doping violation should not be getting such an honor. I suspect very few of those on the top 10 list were tested much, ...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NotDutra5 View Post
                Had Ms. Williams chosen to compete as a US athlete, made the team and had the same potential violation arise leading to whatever the legal process would be taking its course under the same timeframe, would it have been a problem?
                But that is not what happened and using a hypothetical situation brings in other factors that don't necessarily apply to this situation.

                I am in no way trying to disparage Ms. Williams character nor am a casting aspersions about her performance. I've personally been in attendance at 5 track meets where she has competed on an absolute stellar level and find her to be a marvelous track and field athlete and one of the potential future stars of the sport and I have no problem with her being named the girls high school athlete of the year.

                The problem I have is with the process of delaying the naming of the girls high school athlete of the year and the circumstances which caused it.

                The good people at the Track and Field News publication company were handed a bag of lemons, they did there best to make lemonade. Still doesn't take away from the fact that they had to add sugar and water to get to a desirable outcome.

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                • #9
                  Yes, there was a delay, but can you tell us what great harm resulted from that delay?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eman2001 View Post
                    But that is not what happened and using a hypothetical situation brings in other factors that don't necessarily apply to this situation.

                    I am in no way trying to disparage Ms. Williams character nor am a casting aspersions about her performance. I've personally been in attendance at 5 track meets where she has competed on an absolute stellar level and find her to be a marvelous track and field athlete and one of the potential future stars of the sport and I have no problem with her being named the girls high school athlete of the year.

                    The problem I have is with the process of delaying the naming of the girls high school athlete of the year and the circumstances which caused it.

                    The good people at the Track and Field News publication company were handed a bag of lemons, they did there best to make lemonade. Still doesn't take away from the fact that they had to add sugar and water to get to a desirable outcome.
                    ....and your solution?

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                    • #11
                      Briana Williams as gAOY choice

                      Did Williams even run any races for Northeast HS this past spring?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bruce Kritzler View Post
                        Did Williams even run any races for Northeast HS this past spring?
                        Is that a requirement? Is it germane? A number of top high school athletes eventually end up not competing for their high school, sometimes because high school competition rules prevent them from competing in events that provide real competition. Note that in Mondo's senior year there were eight(?) high school vaulters over 18'/5.50, this year there were none. In fact, the same vaulter that was the last one to beat Mondo in high school was also the last one to beat him in college.

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                        • #13
                          So we have a kid that wins US HS Athlete of year who
                          1. Didn't run an individual race for her high school
                          2. Failed a drug test
                          3. Runs for a foreign country
                          Sounds about right.

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                          • #14
                            What drug test did she fail? I do not think that you have the terminology correct. She had a test that led to a hearing and at the hearing I think that it was determined that she did not have a doping violation. Since she ran in the WCs clearly she was not suspended at all once the hearing was held.

                            Is everybody that gets arrested guilty?
                            Mondo competed for a foreign country
                            It is not unheard of for the top athletes to not compete for their schools for a variety of reasons. One that I can think of off the top of my head is Emily Sisson. State associations often have rules on competitions that do not fit the athlete, and it in no way makes her not a high school student and not an athlete (until she turns pro).

                            I suspect that those that voted for this award were better informed and less affected by their one conceptions than those here complaining.

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                            • #15
                              Briana Williams as gAOY choice

                              this deserves its own thread

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