FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For Arkansas incoming freshman Jaela Williams, track and field roots run deep. Williams has been around the sport since age five and credits her mother for her passion to compete.
“”My mom ran club track, was a high school All-American and went on to be on the all-time 100-meter hurdle list at UCLA…she is my inspiration to this sport,” said Williams.
The year was 1987. UCLA sophomore Nicolle Thompson was in section one of the 100-meter hurdle prelims at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The gun went off and Thompson raced into the finals with 13.38 the 10th fastest 100-meter hurdle performance in Bruin history.
Fast forward to 2011, a young Williams emerges on the track scene to win the 100-meter hurdles at the USA Youth Championships in a time of 14.44.
Williams ran her first wind-legal sub-14 time in the high hurdles in 2014 claiming the runner-up spot at the Big VIII League finals in 13.86. Sought after by many of the nation’s best universities, Williams selected Arkansas as her school of choice due to its seamless connection between academics and athletics.
“After talking to Coach Johnson and taking my official visit in April the University of Arkansas definitely stood out from the other schools,” Williams said. “Their top tier track and field program wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye but also the support of the academic advisors which will be beneficial in assisting me to get my degree.”
Finishing in fourth place at the 2015 Calif. State Finals with a career best 13.63, Williams looks forward to developing her natural abilities at Arkansas under the guidance of Coach Johnson.
Jaela Williams At-A-Glance
Hometown: Gardena, Calif.
High School: Serra Gardena High School
|55m||CA Indoor Championships (2/16/15)||7.15|
|60m||Simplot Games (2/21/15)||7.73|
|55H||New Balance Indoor Nationals (3/15/15)||8.03|
|60H||Simplot Games (2/21/15)||8.58|
|100m||Mt SAC Relays (4/18/15)||11.88 (w)|
|Mira Costa Mustang Relays (3/28/15)||12.20|
|100H||CA State Finals (6/6/15)||13.63|
|Long Jump||Roosevelt at Santiago (3/20/14)||18-9.25|
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.