The laundry list of symptoms makes you wonder how Donald Williams was even functioning, let alone running.
The Midwood senior got sick two days before last weekend’s New York State outdoor track and field championships at Vestal HS. His ears were stuffed up and he could barely hear. His tonsils where swollen and he was congested. Williams ran so poorly in the 100 meter dash preliminaries that he was ready to ask the Hornets coaching staff to scratch him from the race the next day.
“My theory is that I train so hard during the season, so when it comes to championship season my body gets so broken down I can’t function,” he said.
Lucky for him he relented from asking to be removed and his body responded. Williams placed second in the 100 in a time of 10.72, behind Darnelle Cummings of Millbrook (10.63). Williams was also a member of the first place 4 x 100 relay team with Andy Nicholas, Eric Williams and Alex Sterling in 42.06. Donald Williams said it meant to a lot to share the relay title with his teammates and giving the junior Sterling and the sophomore Nicholas a taste of what it’s like to win.
“I was super happy, but when I went home I hit the bed real hard,” he said.
Williams still wasn’t 100 percent Monday when he accepted his indoor track Wingate Award, given to the PSAL’s top senior in each sport. During the winter he was the PSAL city champion in the 55 dash and member of the second place 4 x 200 relay. Midwood won the Brooklyn borough championship and finished second behind rival Sheepshead Bay. Williams, who maintains a 90 average in Midwood’s medical science program, is the school record holder in the 55 and 100.
He helped his team break through during the outdoor season, despite falling down the stairs in his house the day before. With a hurt ankle, Williams, who will run at SUNY Albany next fall, won the 100 in a season-best time of 10.56. It was a performance his teammates said inspired them. This time the Hornets edged Sheepshead Bay to win their first ever outdoor title and second city crown.
“I was just thinking about it,” Williams said. “Honestly there couldn’t have been a better season. I was not injured. I got sick a couple of times, but I ran fast. I’m grateful for everything.”