Williams runs up the ranks at Longwood

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

After one season, Casey Williams has already established herself as a standout on the Longwood University women’s cross country team.

Williams, a former Nansemond River High School standout, is preparing for her sophomore season. Her second season of college cross country will come with more responsibility. After a strong freshman year, Williams was named a team captain for her sophomore season. All of it came off of the impressive freshman season she had and how quickly she has adjusted to the college level.

“The transition from high school running to college running was super different, but now that I understand it all, I’m ready for what’s to come this season,” she said.

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In her debut last season, Williams ran a time of 23:10, which was her personal best at the time. She went on throughout the season leading the women’s team in various meets and dropping her times. At the Big South Championships, she finished 51st and ran a personal best time of 21:27.5 and then went on the NCAA Regionals to finish 251st. Because Williams led the team in five of its six cross country meets, it likely led to the coaches wanting to promote her to captain. She didn’t expect to rise up the rankings so fast.

“I was just prepared to come in and start at the bottom and work my way up throughout my years at Longwood,” she said. “I was very surprised to have gotten the role, but I am ready to take it on.”

Williams will lean on her experience from being a team captain in her time at Nansemond River. She was a captain there for three years, and at Longwood, she hopes to lead by example.

“I always embrace a leadership role and understand that everyone progresses differently,” Williams said. “I want to help each individual reach their highest potential not only in cross country but in the classroom as well.”

Longwood will be welcoming seven freshmen to the team this season. Williams knows that it will be important to ensure their transition from high school to college is as smooth and stress-free as possible. As for team goals this season, Williams is hoping that they can place higher in the conference than they did last season. Also, she hopes the team can have an average time of 20:00.

Individually, she just hopes to run faster than she did her freshman season. There will be new expectations from coaches and people around her, and Williams is excited for the chance to live up to them.