On the fast track

Williams among 22 headed to Texas Relays, Wednesday- Saturday.


Emily Ingram

Tevijon Williams finishes the fourth leg of the 4×400 relay on March 5.

Emma Siebold, Managing Editor

When Tevijon Williams crossed the finish line at the Ranger Relays March 5, he picked up his head to find he finished his 400 meter relay leg with a 48.7 split.

This 4×400-relay performance with teammates Xander Miller, AJ Breault and Danny McKeague, notched a time of 3:21.32 – the 10th best in the state.

They will be going to the Texas Relays Wednesday through Saturday. Live stream of the 2022 Texas Relays will be provided by ESPN Texas Longhorn Network: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30-1 p.m., Friday 5-10 p.m.,  and Saturday.

This was not his first time for recognition. Before breaking the school record in the 100 meter dash in 2021, Williams ran in Korea his freshman year when his family’s military roots landed him there.

“I was running just to run because I was so focused on basketball, and I was able to make it to like the finals in Korea,” he said. “We had run in Japan, and they said I had ran the 10.7, and had broken the Pacific record for the 100 meter dash, and I thought that was crazy. I couldn’t believe it.”

A return to the states and attending Clemens during the pandemic put his high school career on pause.

“My mom wanted me to stay home so I was home all day doing online school, and I didn’t know anybody so it was kinda boring,” he said. “I kinda wanted to come to school and get to meet new people, but I couldn’t.”

In his junior year, his love for basketball found a home with Coach Ike Thornton, and he became the school’s career leader in steals. He also earned Second Team All-District honors both years.

“(He made) a huge (defensive) impact,” Thornton said. “He gave us another athlete, and as you know, our district is a lot of athletes that we play against. And being able to match their intensity was big, was huge for us.”

That kind of athleticism led Williams to run a 10.42 at the region track meet, track coach Bren Jones said.

“And I think he wants to better that time this year,” Jones said, “so if anything, I think he will improve his times to maybe a 10.3, 10.2 this year

Because of his performance on the track as a junior, Williams received an offer from the University of Oklahoma.

“My OU visit and recruitment process was fun,” he said. “They flew us out, and then I got to the hotel and they had like a little gift basket for me. Then I walked around the campus saw what it was like and I went to a little track practice and I hung around the athletes for the rest of the day.”

At home, Williams used his experience to coach and support teammates on the court and on the track.

“Whenever a teammate makes a mistake, I try and keep them up and bring them up and tell them not to worry about it and just focus on the next play,” Williams said. “Then for track just since I know a lot, I know how to run, so if I see somebody doing something wrong, I just try and coach them up a little bit and help them do what I was taught to help them get faster.”

Williams’s coaches have noticed this, along with his respect for those around him. 

“He’s a great young man, he’s very respectful, he’s got the respect of the team, he respects his peers, he respects his coaches,” position coach Chad Jones said. “Its always a pleasure for him to be around because I know that when he’s getting ready to compete, he’s locked in.”

And when he is ready to compete, he brings his greatest strength.

“Strengths? He’s fast,” Jones said, laughing, “He’s fast.”

Williams also has aspirations outside of track after college.

“I’ve just been thinking about sports all the time,” he said, “but if that doesn’t work out, I want be a physical therapist or occupational therapist that works with people who play sports. I love sports. I can’t get away from it.”

(Kaley Bonds contributed to this story.)