DOWNEY – Downey High graduate Steven Williams advanced to the NCAA Div. 1 regional track and field meet being held May 28-30 in Austin, Tex.
Williams has had a standout senior season, and is recognized as one of the nation’s elite high jumpers, but his journey there was long and tough.
Williams started his track career as a sophomore at Downey High School behind Head Coach Gleason and Assistant Coach Myers. Although he had never competed in track and field, let alone high jump, Williams managed to turn his heads as a sophomore, clearing a height of 6 ft. 5 inches that year.
That jump broke a record previously held by Alex Black, and the record still stands today.
That same year Williams placed second in the league finals meet and went on to CIF Finals. He finished his high school career by ultimately clearing 6 ft. 8 inches, winning the Masters, and placing sixth in the CIF state meet.
Williams was also a standout football player and was awarded MVP Athlete of the Year.
After high school, Williams continued his track career at Pasadena City College where he looked to find a D1 school that would offer him a scholarship. He would go on to compete two years at PCC, qualifying for the state meet both years and also placing in the top 5.
Williams would improve his personal record to 6 ft. 9 inches and accepted a scholarship to attend Cal State Fullerton.
After sitting out a year due to transfer credit issues, Williams knew he had no room for error, as this was his final year to prove himself as an elite high jumper at the D1 level. His senior year at Cal State Fullerton, Williams won first place at the majority of his track meets. His most notable meet was when he traveled to UCLA and took home first place after jumping a new personal record of 6 ft. 11 inches, qualifying him for NCAA Regionals.
Two weeks ago, Williams took first place at the Big West Conference meet, the first Titan to do so in seven years.
In Texas this week, Williams will face the best competition he’s ever seen. Depending on how he performs, he has a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships in Oregon.