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In a flash: Williams eyeing state success
In the 100-meter dash at last year's state meet, Gila Ridge's Adam Williams loaded into the box and exploded out for a tremendous start.
There was one problem: Another sprinter false started and they lined everybody up again.
On the second start, Williams finished eighth at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division II State Meet with a time of 11.05 seconds.
“I think that kind of messed me up because I just didn't have it in the second run,” Williams said. “I was pretty upset. I actually had a better time at regionals.”
Williams is the top returning sprinter for the Hawks boys track and field team this season as a junior — having also finished sixth in the state at the 200 at 22.57 seconds and was the third leg of the 400 relay, which took 10th.
Gila Ridge coach Lucas Wolthuis also expects Williams to be one of the top long and triple jumpers on the team.
“He's an athlete with a tremendous amount of capacity, somebody who can do very well and continue to build and get stronger,” Wolthuis said. “He's just a great athlete who does what you ask him and puts in the work.”
After the miscues in 2012, Williams has lofty goals in 2013. “I want to win state in the 100. I feel like I could get it this year.”
Senior Ryan Hendrichs will most likely also be a top sprinter for the Hawks, and Wolthuis has liked what he's seen from freshmen Randall Dorsey, Tray North and Raftry Cole.
“They have outstanding times coming out. They're competing with the seniors in the 100 and 200,” he said.
In the distance races, junior Jonathan VanDeberg is the Hawks' top runner and should return motivated after narrowly missing state at the 3,200 by a mere three seconds.
“I was kind of proud and disappointed in myself. I was a sophomore and almost made it to state but I was three seconds away,” he said. “That could been an extra interval. That could have been an extra mile in my workouts. You look back at the days and think I could have worked harder for an extra minute or two.”
During cross country, VanDeberg finished No. 37 at the AIA Division II State Meet in the fall.
“I have three goals: make state for the mile, make state for the two-mile and make state for the 800,” VanDeberg said. “I feel like I have a better understanding of what it takes to get to state.”
For the throwing events, Gila Ridge is led by junior Kainoa Renaud and senior Jesse Land.
Wolthuis, who is in his first year at Gila Ridge, has a strong jumper in senior Alec Wilson, who broke the school high jump record last season. Wilson is dealing with some knee problems, and Wolthuis expects him to take it easy so that he's healthy for the bigger meets later in the season.
Wilson, who topped out at 6 feet 5 inches last year and took third place with a 6-foot-2 leap at state last year, could be a serious contender since the top two finishers graduated last season.
Wolthuis put Wilson's goal quite bluntly.
“He's looking to win state.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.