Juliette Williams ties school 60-meter dash record in first meet as a Wildcat


Courtesy of CWU Athletics

Evan Couch, Staff Reporter

In her first track and field meet as a Wildcat, transfer sophomore Juliette Williams tied the school’s 60-meter dash record. Williams tied the previous record holder and her teammate, senior Makenna Hansen, when she clocked a 7.78 second, 60-meter dash in the Lauren McCluskey Open on Saturday, Jan 22. 

Not only did Williams finish in third place, her performance earned her Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Track Athlete of the Week.

Williams reflected on how she felt heading into her first meet.

“I was just calm and was like ‘We’ll just see what I got,’” Williams said. “It is what it is, you haven’t run in four years, so whatever happens, happens.”

Prior to the Lauren McCluskey Open, Williams had not run competitively since she was in high school in 2017.

Williams attended Eastern Washington University after high school, where she planned on redshirting before eventually dropping out after one quarter in 2018 due to financial reasons. Once out of school, Williams used that time to work three jobs in order to pay off debts and save up enough money to go back to school. 

With the work Williams was doing, it left no time for her to train for running. Despite stepping away from running collegiately, Williams knew she still wanted to compete. 

“One of my high school track coaches was like ‘if you don’t run in the collegiate level, I know that you’ll regret it the rest of your life,’ and that stuck in the back of my head,” Williams said.

After talking to colleagues that used to run for CWU, Williams decided to enroll and start classes again in the fall of 2020. Spring quarter 2021 is when Williams decided to try and join the track team, Williams reached out and asked if it was even possible. Eventually leading to her first meet at the beginning of this year.

After finishing her heat, Williams did not know she had tied the record until she was informed after. 

“I actually did not know what the school record time was,” Williams said. “I was like ‘Oh okay that sounds good, it was better than my last race.’ I was super excited.”

After hearing that she had tied the record, Williams said she had to compose herself before going to sit down and look up the school’s record time. 

Hansen, who ran alongside Williams in the 60-meter finals, finished with a 7.86 second sprint. Hansen knew that Williams had tied her record once she saw Williams’ time.

“I knew right away because that was my time,” Hansen said. “I was ecstatic for her, but the competitive side in me was like, ‘We got some work to do.’” 

Hansen previously set the school record for the 60-meter dash earlier this month at the Cougar Classic Open in Spokane, Washington. Hansen has beaten and reset the school’s best time three times this season. The first time was at the Spokane Invitational on Dec. 11, 2021, with a 7.79 second, 60-meter dash.

Williams and Hansen said that competing against each other every week, seeing what times they run as well as trying to finish top of the race is what is making them better. Williams said she and Hansen will see how far they can push one another when it comes to competing and reaching personal records.

“Obviously there’s competition, it’s natural, but it’s not malicious,” Hansen said.

Williams said that it was after this meet she realized the friendly competition between the two. 

“I didn’t feel like we were fighting for the top, until now,” Williams said.

Hansen explained that pushing one another motivates Williams and her, now that they know what they are capable of doing.

Williams, Hansen and sophomore E’lexis Hollis all competed in the 60-meter finals and finished top six, each running 7.90 seconds and under. 

“I think it’s cool that we have that many girls that are that good,” Hansen said 

With it being Hansen’s last year with the program, she said she thinks it is being left in good hands with sprinters like Williams and Hollis who have two years left. Hansen feels a level of confidence in her teammates’ abilities to remain successful. 

“I’m confident in them, definitely Juliette and E’lexis,” Hansen said. “Those two girls are both technically sophomores right now and they have two more years left, they have so much to accomplish.”

Although Williams is proud of this particular accomplishment, she said that as the season continues, she wants to focus on personal goals she has set for herself. 

“I do have really high goals for myself, so I hope I hit them this season,” Williams said. 

Moving forward, Williams wants to focus on preparation for the indoor season to compete at a high level in the 100-meter dash during the outdoor season.