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Tigers sprinter Williams' breakthrough success 'still a little unreal to me'


Kannon Williams has established himself among SWMO’s premier sprinters this season and etched his name in Ozark’s records book as the Tigers record-holder in the 100.

But the reality of reaching his new heights still can be hard for him to completely grasp.

Williams’ PR and school record in the 100 is 10.87. A year ago, he peaked at 11.90.

"It's hard to think I've made such progress in a short amount of time,” Williams said. “It’s kind of crazy. It's still a little unreal to me.”

Williams was second in the 100 in Class 5 District 6 action this past weekend. He turned in a 10.98, while Neosho’s Noah Soriano won with a 10.96.

In the 200, Williams finished third with a 22.51. Neosho’s Izaiah Hill won in 22.05.

Williams thinks the great gains he’s made as a sophomore can be attributed partly to an increased level in his training.

”I've recognized that I have a skill in the sport,” he said. “That has motivated me more to work harder. Last year, (track) was my second-hand sport. I didn't think I was going to go too far in it. I kind of did it just to stay in shape.”

Also, Williams doesn’t underestimate that he has gotten stronger mentally.

“My confidence has gone really up,” he said. “That’s helped me maintain (composure) and keep myself a little more calm.”

Williams is proud of the gains he’s made in regard to coping with nerves. Previously, he was prone to letting pre-race nerves get the best of him.

“Multiple times,” Williams said of instances in which nerves hindered his efforts. “In my mind, I would overthink sometimes and it overwhelmed me. There were times I guess my heart would skip beats. It was a mix of exhaustion, anxiety and other feelings combined. It would cut down on my performance because I was over-critiquing myself. I couldn't focus because I was overloading my brain.

“Now, I make the meet smaller than it is,” he added. “Even though it's an important meet, of course, I don’t feel like it's exaggerated in my brain.” 

Williams also qualified for Sectionals as part of Ozark’s 4 x 200 relay. The Tigers were fourth with a 1:29.57 at Districts.