After a strong start in his prelims race on Friday in the 200 meter dash at the World Youth Championships, Bowie's Maxwell Willis struggled in his semi-finals race on Saturday and will not move onto the finals. Willis had looked like a potential medal contender with his wind legal best clocking of 20.99 in the prelims, but didn't have the same legs for Saturday's semi-finals race in Cali, Colombia finishing seventh in his heat with a time of 21.89. He will not advance onto the finals. That leaves Josephus Lyles of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia as the lone American hopeful left for Sunday's finals of the boys 200 meter dash at the World Youth Championships.
Nonetheless, Willis wraps up an incredible junior year despite being unable to compete for a medal in today's finals The rising senior in Willis won his first of several state titles with a sweep of the sprints in the Maryland 4A State Meet, while earning All-American honors outdoors at New Balance Nationals in the 100 and 200 meter dash. Representing the United States for the first time on the international stage this past week at the World Youth Championships will also be valuable experienced gained for Willis as he moves forward with his promising track & field career.
Willis certainly will be one of the biggest names if not the top high school track & field athlete returning in 2016 for the state of Maryland. It will be exciting to see how he can top his junior year and best his current personal best times of 10.40 in the 100 and 20.55 in the 200.