SACRAMENTO — Ameer Webb doesn’t want to be known as an average sprinter. He wants to be the best in the world. On the fourth day of the 2017 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, Webb took a step toward seeing that wish come to fruition by zipping past the rest of the field in the men’s 200 meters to claim the outdoor national championship for that event.
“It’s everything,” Webb said. “I’ve always wanted to be the U.S. champion. Today I am. It’s a dream come true and a huge blessing.”
Webb didn’t seem to be shocked that he would one day be the best sprinter in the United States (at least in the 200). The 2016 Olympian in the 200 meters said he’s come to expect it.
“There’s something in me that want to be great,” Webb said. “I don’t want to be average.”
Although he has run faster at that distance (19.85 seconds), there’s nothing average about Webb’s 20.09 clocking to win the 200 meters. Inside the last 50 meters, Webb turned on an extra gear to nip Christian Coleman, who finished the race in 20.10. Getting to this level of accomplishment has been a process for Webb, an evolution that he appreciates.
As a star athlete in football and track and field at Tustin High School, Webb wound up attending school at the next level at a junior college. It was at Cerritos College in Norwalk, then at Texas A&M that Webb’s light as a top-notch sprinter began to really shine, although he made some noise as a California CIF Southern Section and CIF Masters meet champion in the 200 meters.
Webb then stretched his track prowess by winning back-to-back state titles in the 200 while at Cerritos College. Webb said that just because he started off rather unceremoniously at Cerritos College, there was a certain fire inside of him that told him he could be more, he wanted more.
“I wanted nothing more than to compete against the best. That’s it,” Webb said. “Everything just kind of came one thing after another. Once I got a chance to compete against the best, I wanted the gold. I wanted to be an Olympian. It was step after step me just becoming the best.”
A successive stint at Texas A&M where he won multiple NCAA titles only raised the spotlight on Webb. Finishing third in the U.S. Olympic Trials made Webb a viable threat to sprint supremacy here in the United States.
Webb credits his humble beginnings at Cerritos College as a platform that assisted his now worldwide recognition as one of the best sprinters in the world.
“Definitely not going to a university did motivate me,” Webb said. “When I was at Cerritos I would race people. … I would win, but it didn’t mean as much as it could have because I knew these [runners] weren’t the best of the best. It did motivate me because I said I got to get there. This isn’t enough. I always made the best of where I was to be the best.”
Webb stands today as the best in the U.S. in the 200 meters. In achieving that feat, Webb said he stuck with his normal routine instead of changing up and trying to do something different. That discipline paid off handsomely.
“Nothing different, just keep trusting the process and keep pushing and believing in God,” Webb said. “That all got me here today.”