USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Athlete of the Week and RMAC Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week are not new titles to grad student and varsity cross country runner, Nathanael Williams.
After winning the Colorado College invitational last year as an undergraduate senior- and carrying the entire men’s team to the podium with him- expectations were set high for Williams this year. He certainly delivered, snagging not only a gold medal for himself, but a first place finish for the entire men’s team.
Commenting on how CSU-Pueblo was right at the Orediggers’ heels, Williams said “it was nice to have a little bit of a push on the first race. We have a target on our backs and we have to go defend.”
For the Orediggers to defend a national title, they must work together as a cohesive team.
“The whole goal is team-based. We want to go into Nationals and have seven All-Americans,” said Williams.
“Me and Liam have been training pretty hard together. Our goal for [the two of] us is to be in the top fifteen [at Nationals].”
Getting To Know Nathanael
Grade: First year graduate student
Major: B.S. in MME, now pursuing a M.S. in MME
Pre-competition traditions: “I always put a cross on my right leg, I’ve been doing that since high school,” shared Williams. His dinner of choice the night before a race is Chipotle with the rest of the team.
Post-competition traditions: “I get four cups of lemon pudding, this will be my celebration after, no matter what happens,” Williams said. “Even if I don’t do well, the team usually does well, so there is always something positive to take away.”
Favorite part about cross country: The team. “We have a tight knit group,” expressed Williams, “and we get to know each other pretty well. Having that support group has been very helpful for me.”
Role Models: Phil Scneider and Marty Andries, both former teammates.
Hobbies (besides running): “I do a couple bible studies on campus, and I really like Legos”.