Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Catching up with Urban High School runner, Cole Williams...

Today we chat with Urban High School runner, Cole Williams (pictured to the left courtesy of  Last year, Cole qualified to the California State Meet in the 800m. by placing 2nd at the North Coast Section MOC with a time of 1:54.01.  This past season in cross country, Cole led his Urban teammates to their first NCS XC section title by winning the individual title.  He went on to finish 2nd at the state meet in the Division V race.  His 1:55.41 800m. time currently ranks as the 3rd fastest time in the state to date.

1) What other sports have you participated in besides Cross Country and Track and Field?
I played a lot of soccer from when I was little all the way through sophomore year. I made the varsity team during my freshman year. I enjoyed playing team sports and I still enjoy playing football and soccer with my friends. As I got older practice became more serious and it became evident that I did not have the necessary skills to play competitively at a high level.

2) How did you get your start in running?
I ran cross-country for 4 years in elementary and middle school. I performed pretty well with minimal training. But when I got to high school I decided to focus on soccer. In the end it was my mom, a runner herself, who persuaded me to try track during the spring of my sophomore year. My mom ran in high school and more recently has run three Boston marathons.

3) When did you first start running cross country in high school? What was your first success in the sport?
I started running cross-country during my Junior year. The first meet in which I excelled was the Stanford Invitational. I believe I ran a 15:56 and placed 6th. I was very satisfied with my time and performance, and it gave me confidence for the rest of the season.

4) Same questions for Track and Field.
I started running track during the spring of my sophomore year. I had a lot of success, that year in the mile, the 800 and the 1600m. relay. I performed well during the beginning of the season and I was able to make it to the NCS Class A meet in Santa Rosa that year. One race I remember distinctly from that season was frosh-soph 800 that I ran in Santa Clara. I won the race and was very proud of my time, but I also really enjoyed that race and the way in which I won it.

5) You attend a very small school with no track on campus. Describe some of the adaptations that you and your team have had to make to still get in the necessary training.
I think the dedicated runners on the team train just as hard as other athletes at big schools. That said, although we currently have 30 athletes on the team right now, there might be some days where there are only 5 or 6 of us. This means that the team can be easily affected by absences and injury.

6) Who is your coach and how has he helped you become the runner you are today?
Bill is a great coach, but also a great friend. It is evident in his wise approach that he has had many past lives. He has a great sense of humor, and I love to pull is leg. He will get you good too, if his deadpan pan face doesn’t give way to his impish grin. On the coaching side of things Bill really know his stuff. He knows how to plan workouts over the course of the week and the season to get us fit for important races. You might not know this at first glance, but Bill really has that “go get ‘em” attitude, and I love that about him. I love running for Bill for many reasons, but nothing is better than the childish excitement he gets when we do well. Bill and I have learned a lot about each other over the course past three years. We have now come to a point where he knows when to push me and when to step back. I will certainly miss him when I go away to college next year.

7) You qualified for the state meet last year as a junior. What did you learn from the experience and how do you think that could potentially help you for your current senior season?
State last year was a very good experience for me. Although I didn’t run how I had hoped, It taught me a lot about how mentally and physically prepared I need to be to run a that level.

8) What workouts have you done on the track that you feel have helped you the most with your 800m. racing?
There are many workouts that have helped me with endurance and strength. Most recently the workout that has helped me the most is probably 600m repeats done with short breaks.  It’s a punishing workout that works on both strength and endurance.

9) You ran 4:31.74 as sophomore in the 1600m. What led you to make the change to specialize in the 800m. as a junior?
The biggest thing for me was that I enjoyed the 800 more than the 1600. The 1600 is a tough race and think I could potentially do well running it.  However, because I did not enjoy it as much, the want to run it well was not there. I think with my speed I am better suited for the 800.

10) If you could identify the keys to being a good distance runner, what would those be?
Physical endurance but more importantly mental endurance is needed to be a good distance runner. Depending on the race you need to know how to run an evenly paced race. You have to have a connection between the body and the mind in order to understand how fast you can run without crashing.

11) Have you decided where you are doing to college yet and if you haven't, how much will the two sports influence your decision?
I will be deciding in the next couple of weeks. Running is going to influence my decision, however I have applied to mainly division 3 schools, and I am looking to pursue my other passions as well.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thanks for interview, I appreciate you giving me this opportunity.

Thank you very much for your time Cole!  AJC


Anonymous said...

wheres he going to college?

Albert Caruana said...


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