Williams named Academic Athlete of the Year

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Derrick Williams nears the finish line at the Montana State University/Bozeman Running Company Invitational in 2016. Williams was recently named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Male Academic Athlete of the Year. (MSU photo by Kelly Gotham.)

Former Wildcat Derrick Williams continues to excel running long distance for the ThunderWolves of Colorado State University – Pueblo.

For the fourth time in the last two years, Williams was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Male Academic Athlete of the Year last week. Williams was also named to the RMAC All-Academic First Team, as he gathered the top academic honor for the outdoor season for the second consecutive year

A senior, Williams has maintained a 3.99 GPA as a biology (biomedical sciences) major with minors in general exercise science and chemistry while setting the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Williams’ time of 8:59.84 in the event places him in the top-20 among all NCAA divisions this season.

Originally recruited by coach Matt Morris to run at Carroll College in Helena, Williams followed Morris to CSU Pueblo as a sophomore, when Morris took over the head coaching position there.

In his final year of competition at CSU-Pueblo, Williams serves as team captain and has compiled five All-American honors, including a 14th place finish at the 2016 National NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championships, a third place finish in the 1,500 meters at the 2015 National Outdoor Track and Field Championships, second place finishes in the distance medley relay and the 3,000 meter races at the 2015 National Indoor Championships, as well as a fourth place finish in the Steeplechase at the 2016 Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Williams also has earned the prestigious Elite 90 Award, presented to the student-athlete at a national championship event with the highest academic record among participants.

This season, Williams holds the sixth-fastest time in the 5,000 meters (13:55.57) and has qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend. He is also a provisional qualifier in the 1,500-meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Williams has his sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but will first finish his undergraduate education with the hopes of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

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