It is the third year in a row — each year of the rising senior’s high school career — that Williams has won the state award, and she is now a finalist for the national award, which will be announced later this month.
It also was yet another accolade for Williams, who has won eight state championships during her outstanding career at Kell.
“It feels good,” Williams said. “I’m glad that I’m able to keep up my accomplishments.”
Williams became the third three-time winner of the Gatorade state award, which was first handed out in 1986. Only one other Cobb County girls track and field athlete has been honored — Pebblebrook’s Tameisha King in 1999.
Williams also became the fifth Cobb County athlete to receive the Gatorade award for the 2011-12 school year, joining Walton’s Mary Hannah Arrington (volleyball), Hillgrove’s Kenyan Drake (football) and Walton’s Holden Fender (boys soccer). Emily Sonnett, a Fellowship Christian School student who lives in Marietta, won for girls soccer.
Williams earned the Gatorade honor with another dominant year on the track as she won three more individual state titles in Class AAAA. She won the 100-meter hurdles in 13.49 seconds, the high jump at 5 feet, 8 inches and the long jump at a personal-best 20-8½.
Williams led Kell to a fifth-place finish in the Class AAAA team standings, scoring all 30 of the Lady Longhorns’ points.
The Gatorade award recognized Williams for not only her accomplishments on the track, but for her prowess in the classroom and the community as well. She has maintained a 3.71 grade-point average, volunteers with a school group that helps feed the homeless and participates in group activities with orphaned children in Cobb County.
Having established herself as the best girls track and field athlete in Georgia, Williams will now try to make her mark internationally after qualifying for the next month’s World Youth Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Williams earned her spot on the U.S. team with a runner-up finish —and a personal-best total — of 5,481 points in the heptathlon at last weekend’s USATF Junior Outdoor track and field championships Bloomington, Ind.
“My main goal this summer was to qualify for the World Youth Championships, and I’m so excited to have achieved that goal,” Williams said.
Williams got her summer track season off to a strong start with a win three weeks ago in the heptathlon at the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. She scored 5,383 points to set a national record for high school juniors.
“It was my first heptathlon of the year, so I wasn’t expecting to get a (personal-best mark),” Williams said. “I’m very happy to have done so well in my first heptathlon this year.”