For a guy who didn't particularly like high jumping at first, Carl Williams has done pretty good for himself.
In seventh and eighth grades he was a hurdler. Then, at the urging of a coach, he tried high jumping.
"I just took an approach from the right side and tried to jump over the bar, but I hit the bar bad. I was like, 'Yeah coach, this isn't for me,'" Williams recalled. "So then I decided to try the left side. I soared over the bar. From that day I knew I was going to be a high jumper."
And a good one. After a winning a state championship his senior year at Aledo (2014), he is off to a strong start competing for the University of Oklahoma.
Williams finished fifth this season in the Big 12 Conference Meet at TCU with a career-best jump of 7 feet, 0.5 inches. It qualified him for the NCAA West Prelims, where he cleared 6-11.5.
He also won the Payton Jordan Invitational with a height of 6-11, tied for second in another meet, had a third-place finish, and a fourth place.
He also took fifth in the Big 12 Indoor Meet with a 6-10.25. He won the J.D. Martin Invitational, had a runner-up finish and two third-place showings.
It was his second straight year to qualify for the NCAA West Prelims.
"I think in my first two years of college I got done what was expected, but more is to come," Williams said. "The last couple meets of my sophomore year made me realize that I am capable of jumping the heights I want to, and I have yet to reach my full potential."
Williams came close to clearing 7-2 at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. It said that performance made his year as he was competing against some of the best jumpers in the nation.
"My ultimate goal in jumping is to make it to nationals indoor and outdoor in one season," he said. "For the past two years I have barely missed nationals by either a couple of centimeters or by a couple of scratches."
He would also love to compete in the Olympics someday.
"As of right now the Olympic standard for high jump is roughly 7-5," Williams said. "It is definitely a goal of mine to reach such heights to try out for the Olympics."
Williams comes from a family of athletes. He said his dad was a football standout and his mom a basketball standout. For him, though, there is nothing more exciting than sailing through the air and over a high jump bar.
"When you set the bar up and just stand under it sometimes I think to myself there's no way I actually jump over this height," he said. "It's just exciting flying through the air jumping over high heights."
▪ Linsey Hays, Baylor, outfield, senior - In her final season with the Lady Bears (45-14), she helped them reach the NCAA Division I Oregon Regional by batting .307 with team highs in doubles (20), home runs (13) and total bases (114). She also drove in 44 runs and had a .637 slugging percentage. She also had just one error in 59 games in her first full season in the outfield. Along with being named All-Big 12, she was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, Academic All-Big 12. She holds Baylor records for most home runs in a game (3), career doubles (50), season doubles (this season), and is in the program's top five for career in RBI (173), total bases (401) and home runs (40).
▪ Haley Hardison, Lubbock Christian College, infield, sophomore - Batted .158 for the Lady Chaparrals (45-15), who advanced to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament.
▪ Ashleigh Erb, Henderson State, middle infield, freshman - In helping the Reddies to a 35-26 record, she batted .247 with three home runs and a dozen RBI.
▪ Hope Patterson, Henderson State, pitcher/third base, freshman - Batted .270 with four home runs and 16 RBI.
For more Alumni Report go to www.weatherfordtelegraam.net, or follow us on Facebook @weatherfordstar-telegram.