Daniel Williams is shy.
He focuses his attention on the track, wanting to succeed. And at this stage in his career for the Roslyn High School Bulldogs, he knows he can do just that.
“I knew I was talented probably in my freshman year, when I was running times that were near the top of my class,” says Williams, whose start in track came at a young age thanks to the help of his parents. “I think I started when I was about 5 or 6 when my parents put me into one of those programs for little kids to run track.”
The junior is one of the lead runners for the Bulldogs varsity track and field team. Thus far in his high school career, he has set multiple records, even breaking the Roslyn record on May 17, 2018, in the 100-meter relay at the Section VIII Division 3A Championships, leading him to a conference title.
“It was the first big record I broke,” he recalls. “It was really surprising. I remember that feeling just thinking about it.”
While the triumph might have been a surprise for Williams, it wasn’t for head coach Kristen Hamilton.
“When he gets in a race, he doesn’t hold back,” says Hamilton of the athlete. “This quiet kid turns into a fierce competitor. He doesn’t want to lose and he leads by example.”
During the 2019 indoor track season, Williams has been just as fast. He set yet another school record at the Section VIII Conference 4 Championship in January. This time, it was in the 55-meter dash. He posted a 6.73, good enough to set the standard from now on.
“He shows everyone what a good track and field guy is like,” Hamilton says of Williams, who is always a good sport. “He said, ‘I’ll go for it,’ and he excelled at something he never did before.”
Although he has seven major triumphs to date, Williams is ready for more. With more than a year left at Roslyn, there is plenty of time to continue his winning ways, and Hamilton believes that her athlete can run at the NCAA level.
“He is starting to realize how fast he is and could be,” Hamilton says.