From June 19-23 and June 26-30, USCBAthletics.com will count down the top 10 moments of the 2016-17 school year for Sand Shark Athletics. Today’s entry is No. 3 on the list.
In the first eight years of the USCB track & field program’s existence, the Sand Sharks produced four NAIA All-Americans, none of them sprinters.
Then Jhari Williams came onto the scene.
Williams put together a freshman season in 2017 that easily surpassed anything USCB’s program had ever seen. She ended the season with four school records – in the 100 (11.62 seconds), 200 (23.64), 400 (56.03), and long jump (5.66m) – and helped the Sand Sharks claim their first Sun Conference championship.
The season culminated in a remarkable final day at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships, as Williams earned All-America honors in three events in a span of less than three hours.
The Thomasville, Ga., native anchored the Sand Sharks’ 4×100 relay team to a fifth-place finish in 47.38 seconds – the first relay team to score at nationals in program history. She then raced to runner-up finishes in the 100 (11.72 seconds) and the 200 (23.67) to become the first athlete in program history to score in multiple events at nationals.
“The contributions she made on the track have elevated everybody’s game and made everybody push harder and work harder,” USCB coach Bernard Gaither. “And the best thing is there’s so much more that she’s going to do next year.”