Making All-State punctuates cross-country season for NEB's Williams
Northeast Bradford senior Sam Williams has been recognized several times for his many achievements in cross-country but it was this last acknowledgment that may be his most prestigious.
Williams was recently named to the PTFCA All-State second team, the first runner from this area to receive this recognition.
"It's pretty exciting," he remarked. "It's really hard to get onto that list. I'm really thrilled they picked me and gave me the honors. It's a great finish to a good season."
The list is very exclusive. They don't break it down into class, it is simply two teams across the three total classes picking roughly 20 runners.
"I looked at the list last year and it seemed compiled from both races and taken the top 20 guys," explained Williams.
Williams was 17th fastest this year between the three races with a time that would have put him fourth or fifth fastest last year.
"To still be in the top 20 is a relief," he said. "Track and field and cross-country are two very difficult all state teams to make. Some sports have four or five teams across classifications. Something like this is a really big deal, it's a really hard team to make. It's a huge honor, I'm thrilled all my hard work has paid off."
Williams is also happy to represent not only Northeast Bradford but also the NTL on that list.
"There's a lot of great guys in this area," he said. "To be able to represent them so well and get our area more credit is a big deal to me."
This list is also a measuring stick to see how a runner can stack up across the state.
"I certainly would have liked to have been faster, you always like to be faster," Williams said. "The other guys (on the list) I've been looking up to for a long time. It's a great honor to be put on that list."
It's been a six year journey for the Panther, who started running in seventh grade.
"When I joined it was to get in shape and stuff and it escalated as it went along," Williams remarked.
This fall has also been a transition period for Williams. While he's been training for the present he, like most seniors, has also been preparing for his future.
"It was really challenging to stay focused on high school," he explained. "Looking at college applications, essays and trying to focus on cross-country was definitely a challenge."
Williams has narrowed his list down to two schools: Penn State and the Naval Academy.
"I'm waiting to see what happens with the Naval Academy," he explained. Williams added that there is a long application process for the academy.
"It's mellowed out," he said. "Where I'm at is more comfortable."
And it's not a moment too soon as track and field will be starting up in the new year.
Williams will continue to focus on the 3200m but will also try his hand at the steeple chase.
"I'm going to an indoor steep at the armory," he said.
As for outdoor, he's hoping to hit the national qualifier either at the Lock Haven or Mansfield Invitationals. Regardless, his running has taken him a long ways.
"It's funny, I never thought I would come this far," he stated.