College sports provide a unique opportunity for students to display their athletic prowess on a national stage. For Pittsburg State short sprinter Christine Williams, this will include representing her school at nationals during her senior year.
Williams, senior in exercise science, recently garnered local publicity for posting a 24.07-second time in the 200m at the 7th Annual Indoor Gorilla Classic on Feb. 11-12, breaking the old Pitt State record in the event. This record-breaking achievement led to Williams being named MIAA Track Athlete of the Week for the second week in a row. However, that time wouldn’t stay the record for long. Williams broke her own record with a time of 23.73 at the 2022 MIAA Indoor championships in Maryville, MO on Feb. 25-27. Now, Williams is looking towards her race at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, set to take place at Pitt State’s Plaster Center on March 11-12.
“So far my track season has gone great,” Williams said. “All of my goals have been hit and I made it to Nationals, which is awesome.”
Williams took an interest in PSU during her years in high school track thanks to connections between her high school coach and the staff at PSU.
“I did grow up running track for a really long time,” Williams said. “One of my head coaches in high school talked to the coach here (at PSU), and they just kind of interacted and talked about me. Then I met the head coach now, Coach Rutledge, and he gave me an offer to come here, gave me a tour around the campus.”
Despite the obvious connections Williams had with Pitt State, her decision to participate in collegiate-level track stemmed from her enjoyment of the team atmosphere.
“Just thinking about how the track team was, it was a family,” Williams said. “I had family on the track team during high school, so I wanted to keep that tradition of ‘family’ going. That’s what made me come here.”
Currently, Williams is preparing to race in the NCAA Division II National Indoor Championships next week.
“Right now I am just trying to recover from conference,” Williams said. “I’m taking some rest, but still hitting some light workouts. I’m recovering by eating healthy and hydrating to gain back all the nutrients I lost this past weekend.”
Williams encourages any interested students to consider joining the PSU Track and Field team.
“If you want to join the track team, you should just take that chance,” Williams said. “Take that chance and do it. You never know (that you like something) until you do it, so just do it. Join the track team. You’ll be a part of the best team in the conference, best team in the nation. If you’re going to join the track team, you’ll be part of one of the greatest families and you’ll have so many great memories.”
The final meet for Pitt State Indoor track will be the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships. The meet will take place on March 11-12 at the Robert W. Plaster Center.