With her first entry of championships now history, the early screams of stardom are being bellowed at her feet and the echoing of the name Lavanya Marion Williams, but the Rusea’s starlet remains grounded in her quest for success and fame as a track star.
Dubbed in some quarters as a likely replacement for senior ‘pocket rocket’, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce because of her bullet start and height, Lavanya, affectionately called ‘Lavi’ by her close friends, told the Western Mirror becoming a professional athlete and owning a lot of businesses, remain high on her agenda as she strives to become a recognized figure.
Lavanya, born in Westmoreland, where she resided for a brief while (Jerusalem Mount), is now a resident of the quiet and close-knit community of Upper Rock, Spring Blair’s Hill in the parish of Hanover where she started her schooling at Grange Hill Primary before matriculating to Rusea’s High.
A lover of Social Studies and a bit of Mathematics, depending on the topic, the second child for her parents, Constand Griffiths and Avion Williams, Lavanya divulged she has three siblings. The soft spoken Lavanya says she holds a strong desire while aspiring to be focused and have a good attitude towards whatever she’s doing.
Born December 8, 2005, Lavanya says the feeling she got crossing the finish line in both the 100 and 200 metres at the recent ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, was one of “pure joy”.
“I was really elated, overwhelmed and feeling satisfied, but to tell you the truth, it was expected (winning)” a confident sounding Lavanya said to the Western Mirror. “I had trained hard, pushed myself and was very confident going in, so to me it was no surprise when I crossed the finish line infront”, she pointed out.
With an eye on one day being a part of the Baylor University track and field programme, as she looks to further her career as an athlete, Lavanya, a grade 9 student, revealed she has 100% confidence in her now coach Rodrick Myles. She, however, adds that her mother plays a vital and very supporting role in her career as an athlete, ensuring that she is not want of anything, noting that she always has words of encouragement for her, pushing her all the time to give of her best.
The 16 year -old, who says she has been involved in track and field for some 9 years now, remembers being introduced to the sport by a teacher, Ms. Dillon, during a sports day event while she was a grade three student at Grange Hill Primary.
Known for her broad smile and pleasant appearance, Lavanya said COVID-19 has not really impacted her in any way she could say that was negative, “to be honest, it was just with school being on and off that really affected me plus having to train under the circumstances, Coach would also pressure me to do better and because I believe in him 100% I had to do better at training. But, other than that I cannot say COVID affected me”, she added.
Already with a taste of National representation, donning the colors of the black, green and gold at the NACA Under-15 championships in El Salvador back in 2019, Lavanya remembers finishing third in the 100 metres individual event before running the second leg on the sprint relay team which gained a silver medal. Just a week ago she crowned herself in glory, copping the sprint double at Champs, winning the class 3, 100 and 200 metres double, clocking times of 12.18 and 24.50 seconds respectively.
LAVANYA UP CLOSE:
Ques: What is your meal of choice?
Ans: Pork, chicken and curry goat, all with rice and sometimes Spaghetti
Qus: What is your favorite color?
Ans: Pink and blue
Ques: Do you have a favorite movie?
Ans: Yes, Twilight
Ques: Is there a favorite book you’ve ever read?
Ans: Little Red Riding Hood
Ques: Who would you say motivates you?
Ans: Definitely my coach, Roderick Myles, he pushes me towards success in life and is always there for me.
Ques: How tall are you?
Ans: 5’ 1’’
Ques: What would you say is your favorite quote?
Ans: “I am that I say I am”
Ques: Do you watch any other sport than track and field?
Ans: Yes, I lov e to watch Volleyball, I don’t play it but love to sit and watch it
Ques: Do you have a best friend?
Ans: Two actually, Kymani and Deshuani (both boys) we’ve been friends since Basic School, about age 4, I think
Ques: Do you have a favorite drink?
Ans: Yes, Tropical Rhythm
Ques: What would you say has been your most memorable day in track and field?
Ans: To be honest, champs….To know it was my first, the training I went through and the lateness of it, plus to have dipped at 24.5 seconds, I was expecting to run, 24.9….it was a great feeling, I was overwhelmed. Never had that feeling before
Ques: What’s the most used App on your phone?
Ans: Tik Tok and WhatsApp
Ques: Where is your favorite stadium to perform?
Ans: The National Stadium and Jamaica College field