For Teresa Williamson, her freshman year track season was injury plagued. Sophomore year was recovery. Junior year has finally given her the success she’s been waiting for.
“I always wanted to win a conference championship, so to win two, I never thought that would have been possible,” Williamson said. “I really wasn’t expecting to have such a drastic change from last year.”
Recognized twice as the Big South Women’s Track Athlete of the Week and named to the Big South All-Academic Team, Williamson has seen results both on the track and in the classroom this year. Just two weeks ago at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, Williamson delivered the seventh program record of her career en route to winning the 800-meter race.
Before coming to Radford University, Williamson was told to expect some struggle adjusting to the lifestyle of a student athlete. She wasn’t sure how college track could be so different. She soon figured it out.
“In high school, it was just like, oh I’ll go for a run,” Williamson said. “In college, track is every aspect of my life.”
As a freshman, Williamson suffered from injury setbacks and underwent surgery at the end of the season. Her next year was spent training and getting healthy. Now, as a junior, she has been able to compete at her fullest, injury free.
Aside from adjusting to the physical demand of track, Williamson has had to change her eating habits, bed time and studying regimen. Each day has become a monotonous cycle of waking up, going to class, studying, practicing and going to sleep. There isn’t much free time for Williamson anymore.
“This year I’ve had a lot of focus,” Williamson said. “If I’m not at practice doing track, I’m in class, or in clinical or studying.”
Her determination has definitely paid off. In March, Williamson was crowned with the first Big South indoor track title on the women’s side since 2012, when Aimee Veatch won it in the weight throw. It was the first time in the 3000 meter race since 2001. Williamson’s pace of 9:38.66 in the 3000 bested the former championship meet record by nearly 20 seconds and the RU record, which was her own, by nearly 13 seconds.
Williamson was also RU’s first ever female to be honored with the Big South’s Most Outstanding Track Performer at the conference’s indoor championship a few weeks ago.
Outside of track, Williamson has maintained a 4.0 GPA as a student in the nursing program. She was runner up for Big South Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. After college, she plans to work in a critical care setting and then apply for Clinical Research Administration School to be a nurse anesthetist. Running will just be for pure pleasure.
For now, though, Williamson will treasure her time competing and see where running takes her.
“When people know who you are, it’s more pressure,” Williamson said. “It feels really great and it’s really rewarding. I’m really lucky to have had all of these opportunities.”
To finish out the season, Williamson looks to the Big South Outdoor Track Conference championships set to be held in Rock Hill, S.C., starting on April 17. She hopes to qualify for regionals and possibly earn a spot to compete at the NCAA tournament.