Oftentimes, kids are in too big of a hurry to become adults.
Stillwater football/track star Tevin Williams faced a similar dilemma last year when the senior contemplated graduating early to get a jump start on his college football career. In the end, he chose to stay home, run track for the Pioneers, and graduate in May.
The decision paid huge dividends for Williams last week when the speedster won both the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the OSSAA Class 6A track meet at Edmond Santa Fe.
“Tevin had contemplated graduating early and going to Baylor” recalled Stillwater track coach Rusty Atkins of the Bears’ football commit. “Last minute, he and I visited, and he said, ‘Coach, I think I’m going to stay and run track.’ And I was like, Hallelujah!”
“I thought I was going to win a state championship in football, but after we lost in the semifinals I decided to continue with track because I knew it was something I had a good chance of winning,” admitted Williams. “With me, I always want to finish things the right way and it didn’t feel right graduating early.”
Williams initially broke the 100-meter state meet record in the prelims, running a blistering 10.24 time. That record didn’t last long, as Williams bettered his own mark by running an impressive 10.20 in the finals.
Williams, whose personal best time in the 100 had been 10.51, was neck-and-neck with the field for the first 50 meters, but he found another gear and separated from the pack in the final 30 meters.
He credits his fast time to the meet’s great competition.
“Teams in our region, there hadn’t been that many fast people,” said Williams, who admitted to being a bit surprised by his time in the 100 prelims. “But over on the Tulsa side, that’s basically where most of the people in my heat were from, so I just wanted to outperform them.”
The 200-meter finals were nearly a carbon copy of the 100. Williams was even with the field for the first half of the race, then exploded past the other runners before reaching the finish line.
Atkins credits Williams’ trademark kick to his extensive 400-meter training during the season.
“He knows how to accelerate, and he knows when to accelerate,” stated Atkins.
“I started off as a 400 runner,” claimed Williams. “My sophomore year, halfway through the season, there was a spot open at a meet for the 100 and I thought I’d run it for fun and I ended up winning. So, it was something I just continued doing. My experience as a 400-meter runner helped me a lot with my leg strength at the end of races.”
Atkins can’t stop beaming about Williams’ performance, and the longtime Pioneers coach believes no one deserves success more than the senior sprinter.
“I met him after the 100, behind the stands, and he had a big grin on his face,” recalled Atkins. “He showed me his medal. The cool thing was, there were three gentlemen that came up and spoke to him about how excited they were to see him run, and how he’s kind of set the example for the younger kids.”
“He doesn’t go around and jump up and down and brag about what he’s done,” added Atkins. “After his races, he puts his clothes back on, goes back to the tent and does what he needs to do and gets ready for the next race. He’s a very unique individual. It says a lot about his parents and his upbringing and what his priorities really are. I can’t speak enough about what kind of kid he is.”
Williams is scheduled to arrive in Waco on May 29th to begin his Big 12 football career. With his recent times, Williams is giving some serious thought to running track at Baylor as well. Until then, it’s still sinking in that he achieved his goal of becoming a state champion.
“I couldn’t imagine anything better than that,” said Williams on ending his high school athletic career with two championships. “I’m just glad that I’m a state champion in something.”
“I think we’re just kind of scratching the surface on what Tevin can do,” stated Atkins. “He’s one of those guys who comes to work every day, doesn’t complain, shows up early and does his work. If you ask him to do extra, he’ll do extra, and he does everything with a grin and a smile on his face. There’s no pushback from him at all. That’s what good kids do.”