Aiken High’s Arianna Williams knows she’s earned an opportunity many of her fellow track and field athletes don’t get to experience.
Having the chance to continue to run at the collegiate level is a unique opportunity, and she’s not taking it lightly. Friday, she signed her letter of intent to join the track and field program at Coker College.
“For me to be able to say I’m not just going to a JUCO, I’m going to a D2 and I’m going to keep working against D1 schools, it’s a great opportunity,” she said. “I feel like I want to be that person to change how it is around here, and I feel like this is the first step to changing things around here.”
Williams felt an instant connection with Coker head coach Peter Early, and she said she felt like with the Cobras she wasn’t going to be just another name on the roster.
She’ll run the 100-meter hurdles, 400 hurdles and possibly the 4×400 relay to go along with the high jump. Aiken High coach John Hostetler said the 100 hurdles is her best race, and she ranks third in the state in Class AAAA.
He added that, while she excels in the 100 and 400 hurdles, she also has the speed to be successful with the 4×400 relay and even the 400.
“I’m hoping to see her break some records this year,” he said. “That’s her goal, too. Hoping to see some of the old records go so that leaves her legacy on the board. She’s going to be extremely missed as a hurdler, as an athlete, as a student. She’s going to be severely missed.”
Williams credited coach Corrinthia Garvin for exposing her to indoor track and competition outside of South Carolina. That will help prepare her for the type of competition she’ll face at Coker, where she plans to go pre-med with her studies.
Williams, who also played basketball at Aiken High, has helped the Hornets maintain their stranglehold on Region 5-AAAA. They’ll gun for another championship and take their aim at state, and she’s expected to produce plenty of points toward those goals.
“Arianna’s been such a success,” Hostetler said. “Not only is she a very smart young lady, but she also puts forth 110 percent on the track all the time. That has been an honor to just be around that.”