Sierra Lutheran runner makes college choice
Sierra Lutheran senior Nathanael Williams made his college choice Wednesday afternoon at an assembly in the high school’s gymnasium.
“This is probably the worst-kept secret in the room,” Sierra Lutheran executive director Brian Underwood said, gesturing to Williams and his family already clad in the college’s apparell. “Nathanael, where are you headed next year?”
Williams signed with the Colorado School of Mines, one of the top engineering schools in the country, where he will compete in cross country and track & field next year.
He chose Mines over Boise State and Abilene Christian after narrowing the list down from a number of offers from schools across the country earlier this year.
He said his visit to the campus was his final confirmation.
“I got to tour the school and got to hang out with the team a lot,” Williams said. “I got to eat a couple of meals with them and went on a four-mile tempo run with them.
“It was pretty brutal, I was pretty far back, but it was just fun to be out there with them. They encouraged me and kept me going. I loved it.”
Williams said he plans to major in some form of engineering, most likely in the chemical field.
Mines competes in the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
“There are the name brand schools you all probably know from watching sports on ESPN,” Underwood told the student body during the assembly. “What’s important to recognize is how many great academic schools there are out there.
“Colorado School of Mines is one of the finest engineering schools in the country. Nathanael will be getting athletic and academic aid from them. Don’t get locked into the idea of a name-brand school. He could have gone to a Division I school, but he chose a school that was a great fit for him. I applaud that.”
Sierra Lutheran track and cross country coach Dave Marson echoed those sentiments.
“Nathanael took a good amount of time to find the right school for him,” Marson said. “You can run anywhere. He made it a priority to find the right fit. He chose a school that would fill his academic needs first.
“He’s just an exceptional person. He embodies hard work.”
Williams won the 2A regional and state cross country championships last fall, posting the second-best overall times for any class at the regional and state meets. He also finished 28th at the Foot Locker National qualifier in December.
He led Sierra Lutheran to the 2A state cross country title and is also a two-time defending 1A state champion in the 3,200. He is the defending state champ in the 1,600.
His performance in the classroom also garnered all-state academic honors last fall.