Lauryn Williams moving past Olympic miscues

Former Miami track star Lauryn Williams knows success. She has a 100-meter world championship to her name and a 2004 silver medal on display in her mother’s home.

But relays have been an issue. She was involved in two high-profile transition mistakes in the past two Olympic games. A failed exchange with Marion Jones cost the U.S. a medal in 2004 (video) and a drop in 2008 (video) led to a disqualification.

Now 28, the 2004 UM graduate is heading to her third Olympic games later this month in London. She didn’t qualify for the 100 meters as an individual, but she’s in the six-member relay pool for the 4×100. The past mistakes are motivation for the next round, Williams said.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t go right and there’s no rhyme or reason to it,” she said. “You practice it. You try to develop chemistry with the person, but you never know what’s going to happen on that day. That’s with any race or any sport.”

Williams will also have a familiar face at her side if ends up on the four-member relay. The U.S. will be coached by Amy Deem, the head of the UM track and field program.
Deem isn’t worried about what happened in Athens or Beijing and said those misfires won’t factor into the team structure this time.

“There were technical mistakes, but that was in the past,” Deem said. “This is a whole new group of girls. Lauryn’s run a lot of relays and she’s run them very well. … To be honest, the only time this will be talked about is when the media brings it up.”

The complete list (courtesy of UM athletics) of current and former Miami athletes/coaches who’ll be a part of the London Olympics:

Athletes Murielle Ahoure, Ivory Coast, track & field T’erea Brown, US track & field, 400m hurdles Savanah Leaf, Great Britain volleyball Ciara Michel, Great Britain volleyball Zach Railey, US sailing, finn class Rueben Ross, Canada diving, 3m synchronized Brittany Viola, US diving, 10m platform Lauryn Williams, US track & field relay pool

Coaches Randy Ableman, US diving (assistant) Amy Deem, US track & field, (women’s head coach)

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