Devon Williams: Big 12 Championship diary
Freshman Devon Williams participated in her first Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championship this past weekend. The first-semester Longhorn ran twice during the three-day meet earning All-Big 12 honors for her performance on the 4x400-meter relay.
The rookie 800-meter runner sat down with TexasSports.com at the end of her five-day trip to Lincoln, Neb., and recapped all of the action on and off the track.
Hey Longhorn faithful!
This trip started out well. Normally, I am late getting to the bus for the airport but today I was on time. Alex (Anderson) and I walked from our dorm to the bus that was waiting for us at the track. Most of the team was on the bus for the airport.
We checked in and went through security for our flight around 3:30 p.m. for Dallas. We had an hour layover before getting on another flight to Nebraska. We landed in Omaha around 8:30 p.m. and got on a bus for an hour ride to Lincoln.
To keep myself entertained, I laughed and joked with Janine (Davis) and some of my other teammates. When we get together, it is very entertaining!!
Once the team arrived at the hotel, we got our keys from (UT track staff member) Rene, and headed to our rooms. I was hungry and saw there were a few places to eat right around our hotel. Alex and I were trying to get something to eat but everything was closed. We eventually went through the drive thru at Wendy's on foot. The man gave us a hard time but he let us order our food even though we didn't have a car. After that, we walked back to the hotel and enjoyed our dinner.
I ended the day with an ice bath so I'd be ready to compete the next day. I was tired from all of the traveling so after hanging out for a while with my roommate Alex, I went to sleep.
I woke up early on Friday for breakfast. I usually don't eat that much before a race but I really enjoyed the food at the hotel. I had a little time before we went to the track for practice so I took a nap.
Around 1 p.m., our team left for the stadium. I did a 10-minute jog then went through my routine drills and stretches. I talked to (head women's track and field coach) Bev (Kearney) about my race strategy. After that, I spiked up and did some 100s coming off the curve at the beginning of the 800 because she wanted to see how I felt with my spikes on. I had to get used to breaking on the track for the next day. I finished training and did a cool down before getting on the bus back to the hotel. The ride was very short; it took about five minutes.
After working with the trainer for a little bit, I got in another ice bath. I don't like them because they are very cold but I'm getting used to them now. I know they help my body recover from running.
For lunch, we walked a few blocks to Subway and then headed back to the track to watch Michelle (Carter) throw the discus.
After that, we went to Olive Garden as a team. I rapped for the team on the bus and at the restaurant. I can freestyle so I put on a little show with some of my teammates. After we finished at the restaurant, the team returned to the hotel. Before calling it a night, I read my bible and a few other books.
Saturday was my race day and I woke up ready. I had an 8 am shake out which is where you run around for 10 minutes and stretch. It's a routine we do before every track meet.
I had a lot of time before my race so after breakfast I took a nap until lunch around 1 p.m.. While eating, I watched a movie for a little while and talked with Alex (although she spent a lot of time working on a paper for class).
Around 2:45 p.m., I started to get ready physically and mentally. I put on my uniform and warm-up, and got on the bus for the track. I made it to the bus on time which is a miracle because I'm usually a few minutes late everywhere (maybe I'm starting to mature because my birthday's coming up a the end of the month).
Once I got to the track, I tried to relax and focus on my race strategy. During my warm-ups and even after I checked in, I thought about my strategy.
Unfortunately, once I got on the track, I lost a little focus. It was extremely hot and I was in the first heat. The race I ran was totally the opposite of what I talked about with Bev. I just didn't have a good race. It just wasn't what I planned to do. The bright spot is that I did qualify for regionals so I have one more race this year. I don't have any excuses because it's over. This time is a transition and since I know what I'm capable of, I know it will fall into place.
On Sunday morning, I woke up and did shake outs again. I didn't know if I was running the 4x400-meter relay but I was prepared just in case.
We didn't have to go to the track until 1 p.m.. I went out and cheered the 4x1, Betzy in the 1,500 and a lot of other people that made it to the finals.
While I was cheering, Bev told me to warm-up with Janine for the relay. We did our normal jog and stretches. Then we watched Alex in the 100 and 200, and the next thing the race was up.
I ran on the 4x400 around 5:30 p.m.. We ended up finishing third. I felt better because Bev let me know that I ran a good leg. I'm improving each time I run which is the goal.
We had a team meeting on the bus and then again in the hotel. Bev let us know what we needed to work on to be champions. I also talked to my parents who gave me encouraging words. They told me to keep working hard and maybe work a little harder because I haven't run that slow since 8th grade!! It was good to hear that from them because they are very supportive.
After I got off the phone, I went with a few teammates to Applebee's.
Later on that night, I saw Chauntae (Bayne) in the lobby who told me our flight was cancelled. Alex called me too and told me to go to Bev's room for a meeting. We almost took a bus back to Austin, which I wanted because I don't like flying anyway. Originally, we were supposed to leave early in the morning but luckily we ended up getting a later flight the same day.
Before getting on the bus to the airport in the morning, I had an interesting experience at the Subway down the block. My nose started bleeding while I was waiting on my sandwich in Subway. The people at the counter and some of the customers were trying to help me out, giving me napkins. I started to panic a little because I was trying to get food for Alex and I, and trying to stop my nose from bleeding. On top of all of that, I was late for the bus that was leaving for the airport. I started running for the bus with my bloody nose and our food!! I was a mess. When I got on the bus, Coach Brimmer asked me if I was beat up on the way to get food. I couldn't help but laugh.
Once I got on the bus, the staff and some of my teammates helped me stop my nose from bleeding so I was in good shape for the ride to Omaha.
When we got to the airport, it was crazy. We saw the UT men's track and field team, and teams from other Big 12 schools, in addition to crowds of people. In between getting tickets and checking in, I changed my bloody shirt and chatted with Bev for a little while.
After landing in Austin, I was so happy to be back in Texas now my second home.