Freshman leads women's track in first place finishes
Three first place finishes in the 60-meter dash, two first place finishes in the long jump and a first-place finish in the 200 meters.
Despite being a freshman, Nadia Williams' six total wins this season ranks No. 1 on the Central Michigan women’s track team.
“I don’t think surprised is the right word,” Williams said. “But I think I’ve really exceeded all expectations for myself.”
Last year, Williams was a high school senior in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, where she was a three-time state champion in the long jump and a two-time state champion in the 200.
The versatile athlete has been able to carry her success from Wisconsin to Mount Pleasant and plans to continue to improve.
Williams said she expects a lot from herself for the rest of the indoor season. She hopes to set personal records at the Indoor MAC Championships on Feb. 25.
“Maybe I’ll even make it to the NCAA Championships,” she said. “I just need to keep working.”
After the indoor season ends at the MAC Championships, she will continue her freshman campaign during the outdoor season.
She said she hopes to compete in the same events, as well as the 4x100 relay with fellow freshman Ja’la Taylor and sophomores Samantha Cuneo and Gabriella Beauvais.
Although she’s had the most success in the 60, Williams said her best event is the long jump. Her farthest jump came at home at the Jack Skoog Triangular on Jan. 13, when she leaped for a first place-worthy 5.86 meters.
“I’ve been doing long jump since freshman year (of high school),” Williams said. “I was more surprised with my success in the 200.”
In fact, the 200 has arguably been her best event statistically. Her first time competing in the event was at the Doug Hansen Open on Jan. 20, running a 24.69 for a first-place finish.
Her only other time competing in the 200 was at the highly competitive Eastern Michigan Triangular on Jan. 28, when her 25.01-second dash pitted her at third place overall.
At the EMU event, her 7.61 second-place finish in the 60 made her one of only two CMU athletes to win first place at the meet. That was also her fastest run of the season, with her second best (7.65) coming in the final round of the first meet in December.
“She’s an incredibly talented athlete,” said head coach Mark Guthrie. “She’s hopefully got three more years on this team, which is really nice for us.”
However, Williams described her latest meet as a bit of a disappointment.
The Notre Dame Meyo Invitational the weekend of Feb. 3 was described by Guthrie as when the team would find out their identity for the season, and whether they were the real deal or “pretenders.”
Nadia’s 5.75-meter long jump was her second shortest of the season, giving her a ninth-place finish. Her worst came in the season’s opening meet with a 5.70.
Her 7.67-second finish in the 60 was one of her lowest of the season, giving her a 25th place finish.
“I’m not happy with the performance,” Williams said. “But it’s a learning experience. That’s all you can take from bad meets.”
Guthrie said he isn’t worried by her performance at Notre Dame.
“She’s been great all year," he said. "She’s tough. I know she’ll bounce back.”
Williams’ first chance to improve from the Meyo Invitational will be at “The Big Meet” on Friday in Allendale.
“Confidence is the biggest thing you can take with you,” she said. “I’m confident that I’ll do great."