All-Region athlete of the year: Shelby Williams
Ridgefield soccer, basketball, track & field
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Shelby Williams is proof that one should take advantage of opportunities in life.
First a soccer player, basketball would become her favorite sport. Later, she applied her skills to track and field.
Turns out, track and field is going to help pay for college. Williams received a partial scholarship to attend the University of Washington to become a heptathlete.
“Track was a social thing for me at first,” Williams said. “I did it because all my friends were doing it. I just did it to give it a try.”
Williams was in the eighth grade at the time, dreaming of a basketball scholarship.
Last year, Williams placed at state in four events. This year, she acknowledged she struggled toward the end of the season but managed to qualify for three events, finishing third in the 100-meter dash and the shot put. There’s an odd combination for a medalist, proof of her overall athletic ability.
That’s why heptathlete is her calling. She will be competing in the grueling competition that scores points in the 100 hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, the 200, the long jump, the javelin, and the 800.
But just because track and field has become her sport does not mean she gave up her other ambitions. In basketball, she was voted co-player of the year in the 2A Greater St. Helens League. She was a first-team defender in soccer.
“It’s such an honor,” she said of being named athlete of the year. “There are so many great athletes in the area. I think my parents were more excited than I was. They were proud.”
John and Michelle Williams deserve a thank you, Shelby said, because they always encouraged her to “play whatever I wanted to play.”