By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– When Cascade’s Ashton Williams received the baton in the 4×100 relay race as the anchor leg, the Cougar Senior took off. Taking Cascade, who was sitting sixth in the race at the time, to third when he crossed the finish line.
It was one of four races he ran in at the 4A State Meet a few weeks ago in Florence. Williams won the 100-meter dash State Title and was third in the 200-meter dash to cap his High School Career.
“One of my goals in track was mainly to bring the team on up along with me. The 4×1 team, I love all my boys and in that moment…seeing all of those guys ahead of me, I had to show out a bit. I had to flip on the burners,” smiled Williams. “Just bringing the team with me alongside bettering myself. Bettering my teammates is of a big importance to me.”
Williams came into Cascade as a freshman and had to step up as a role model. Slowly developing into a role model over the course of the next four years running for the Cougars. Williams knew, in such an individualized sport as track naturally is, he wanted to do more and wanted to bring his teammates along for the ride.
Embracing the role meant so much to him.
“Bettering my teammates and being more of a team aspect of the sport is really what I get most out of the sport and my track family is making sure that…you stepping on the track here, you’re a part of the family,” Williams said. “And I wanted to embody that role and make sure everyone knows that we’re creating a team aura that everyone feels like a team and a family.”
Track has been a part of who he was. His father Anthony was part of the 2000 State Cascade Team that won it all under Dan Peterson. Peterson was in attendance Tuesday as the younger Williams signed to run at Bushnell University in Eugene.
The elder, who is now an assistant coach at Cascade, pushed his son. The two Williams would always train together, setting up Ashton for the such he came to have.
“My dad has always been my role model in this stuff. He’s the one who got me into Track and for as long as I could remember, training with him out on the Track,” Williams said of his father. “He always wanted me to be better than he was and wanted me to be the Williams legacy and carry that one. That always been my driving force through this was him and getting the title and doing this.
“To see him push for that so hard. To want me to do better than he did, it means so much. Now it’s hitting me and I’m thinking about it now. To have that kind of support to be better is unbeatable.”
Now it’s onto the new challenges ahead. Joining Bushnell, NAIA Track and Field. To carry that momentum over to the collegiate level as he chases a career in Computer Science/Software Engineering starting in the Fall.
“That process didn’t seem real until recently. It all kind of hit me all at once, but the opportunity to stick with Track and Field means so much to me because Track literally has been my everything since I was born,” Williams said