Williams chooses Naval Academy to continue his running career
For Northeast Bradford senior Sam Williams the choices couldn't be more different.
On one hand he was considering joining teammate Curt Jewett as members of the cross country and track and field teams at Penn State.
On the other hand was the option of running for the Naval Academy.
"It was a difficult choice," Williams said. "I was drawn, not only by Curt but a lot of other guys I have run with and become friends with over the year. Connor Quinn is someone I've become good friends with. I know it would have been great to run with them, it would have been a lot of fun, but I was drawn to Navy."
Something just told Williams that life at the Naval Academy was the perfect thing for him.
"I was really intrigued by the honor and the higher standards they hold themselves to," Williams said. "I think it will be a challenge. I felt more of a calling to that than I did to college life."
While Williams felt drawn to Navy, it wasn't a decision that came easily.
"It was a really hard decision," he said. "I made up my mind between Penn State and Navy maybe six times. When I went for my visit there (to Navy), I knew it was the place I would really like to be."
Williams knows that going to Navy there will be a huge adjustment and it will have a big impact on his first cross country season.
"It will definitely be really difficult," Williams said. "There will be a lot of early mornings, a lot of PT. Once I get through that first summer, which is similar to basic training, then it will get a little easier. I won't be able to run much this summer and for most people freshman year of cross country is pretty much a wash, but I think once I get back into it and get to indoor season it will be good."
While Williams knows that Navy doesn't have the same success in running as Penn State, it is a very solid Division I program.
"They are pretty good for track," Williams said. "The cross country teams do pretty well. They are not quite a Penn State, but they are pretty good and there are some good kids coming in. There is a kid I ran against, who beat me, at Penn Relays who is going there, so there are some good kids coming in." Williams thinks that being a runner will help him make the adjustment to life at Navy.
"I think the physical element is a big challenge," he said. "Being a runner, I am in pretty good shape and I think that will help."