Jan. 13, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- University of Tennessee Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark announced the addition of two talented sprinters to the men's roster on Friday. Freshmen Jamol James and Michael Williams are expected to suit up Saturday and compete for the Vols at the Kentucky Invitational in Lexington.
James, from St. Anthony's College in Trinidad & Tobago, owns prep career-best times of 10.38 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.27 in the 200 meters and moves immediately to the top of UT's depth chart in the straight sprint and ranks second in the 200 behind sophomore Jarael Nelvis. James earned a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2010 World Junior Championships and was a member of Trinidad & Tobago's fifth-place medley relay at the 2009 World Youth Championships.
In addition to his 10.38 readout, James had four other 100m marks in the 10.4 range in 2011. One was a 10.44 readout in the prelims of the Pan Am Junior Championships, where he ended up placing seventh in the final at 10.57.
Williams, meanwhile, hails from the Washington, D.C., suburb of Laurel, Md. The DeMatha Catholic product originally signed a scholarship to play football at Maryland, but his desire to run track was greater so he asked for, and was granted, a release by the Terps. The younger brother of San Francisco 49ers free safety Madieu Williams, Michael Williams was a 2011 Washington Post All-Met First Team honoree during the outdoor season and was honorable mention indoors as one of the D.C. area's top sprinters and hurdlers.
Williams earned high school All-America honors in 2010 and 2011. Last season, he finished seventh in the 400m dash (48.80) and ran on DeMatha's national champion 4x200m relay unit at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. His personal bests include 14.1 in the 110m hurdles, 52.4 in the 400m hurdles and 47.81 in the 400m dash.
Clark expects both to be impact performers for the Big Orange this season.
"It's a breath of fresh air to bring in some guys in January who can help our team," Clark said. "We were a little low on numbers in the sprint area and other areas, but especially the sprint area on the men's side.
"If you come in here running under 10.40, you definitely have skills. We've had those types of sprinters come here in years past, and they've always turned out to be pretty successful. That 10.3 time is a great number, and we look forward to seeing Jamol display his skills throughout the season.
"Michael will be able to assist us on relays, and he'll be able to help us in the hurdles. He is capable of getting us some points in the SEC and both NCAA meets. We are anxious to see him get on the track and see what he can do as well."