Naugatuck’s Williams goes out on top

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Naugatuck track star Amanze Williams won two gold medals at the New England championships June 11. Williams, a senior, plans to attend the University of Connecticut in the fall where he will join UConn’s track team. CONTRIBUTED
Naugatuck senior track star Amanze Williams leaped to new heights, bringing home the gold in the triple jump and the long jump at the New England championships in Vermont.

For Williams the titles represent the first time he has ever captured gold at the New England meet, and the culmination of a stellar career as a Greyhound.

Williams won three gold medals in the NVL championships, two gold medals in the Class L state championships, a state open gold medal and is now the best in New England with two more gold medals.

“This certainly has been more than I could ever ask for,” said the very modest Williams. “You are talking about the best athletes in all of New England and to win two gold medals, I’m still kind of in shock. It hasn’t really hit me yet.”

Williams is no stranger to the limelight. Last season saw take home two gold medals at NVLs, setting a new league record in the triple jump at 47 feet, 8 inches, and the first of his two consecutive MVP awards at the NVL championships.

At the Class L state championship last year Williams won his first state title, winning the triple jump and placing third in the long jump. At last year’s New England championships Williams placed fifth in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump.

“I was really hoping to win another state title in my senior year,” Williams added. “But, what I achieved is more than anything I could have dreamed of.”

In the past two outdoor track seasons Williams has brought home ten gold medal awards and now the future University of Connecticut track star will prepare for some new challenges as he enters Storrs this fall on a track scholarship.

“The moment was electrifying,” Naugatuck head coach Ralph Roper said. “Coach Basile and I were ecstatic when the final results came in. For his last jump in his high school career it was emotional and exciting to watch. This season could not have been scripted any better for such a fine athlete and fine young man.”

Amanze has made it a habit of saving his best for last. At the New England Championships last Saturday he approached his final jump trailing and needing to hit at least a 22 foot 9 inch effort.

Williams landed with a couple inches to spare. A 23-foot effort gave him the gold medal. In the triple jump Amanze nailed it hitting a jump of 46 feet 7 inches in his second attempt making sure there would be no drama with a last jump scenario.

“I certainly don’t plan it like that,” said Amanze explaining his penchant for final jump excitement. “But it feels awesome when I do hit the jumps.”

With his high school career in the books, Williams took part in a decathlon before focusing his attention on UConn.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to compete in college,” Williams said.