Sports

Williams becoming a veteran leader in the poolBy Eric Kalis

In order for the Hurricane swimming and diving team to continue improving and make a run at a Big East title, they will have to rely on their seniors for leadership and individual achievement. One senior in particular who has made incredible strides in the last two seasons and could wind up with several individual titles at the end of the year is Christine Williams.
Williams, who transferred from Florida State two years ago, has been a fixture in the 50 meter, 100 meter, 200 free, and 100 meter back events. Coach James Sweeney expects a huge contribution from Williams in the next couple of events.
“We have a couple of really important events coming up soon, starting with the Indiana Invite this weekend,” Sweeney said. “Our goal for Christine is to have her qualify for the NCAAs in the 50, 100, and 200 free during the US Open.”
Growing up in Trenton, New Jersey, Williams established herself as a dominant performer throughout her four years of prep school at Notre Dame (NJ). She set national high school records in the 50-meter and 100 meter freestyle, and was a four-year MVP at her school.
As for her career at UM, Williams emerged as one of the best swimmers last season when she earned two top-five finishes in the Big East Swimming and Diving Championships and earned a 23.32 time at the 2001 U.S. Open.
This season Williams has set her sights a little higher for the team and for herself.
“I think we have a really good chance at the Big East title,” Williams said. “We will have to take care of Notre Dame, who is always tough, but we are capable this year. As for myself, I hope to win an individual title in the Big East and qualify for the NCAAs at the U.S. Open.”
To prepare for this season’s tough schedule, Williams worked harder than most other swimmers in the off-season, and it has shown thus far.
“I trained during the summer every day for at least three hours a day,” Williams said. “It was tough because I was balancing school, an internship, and training, so sleep was hard to come by.”
“Christine worked mostly on strength training this off season,” Coach Sweeney said. “She also improved her mechanics and has, overall, made significant strides as far as improvement goes.”
Williams indicated that she has a few specific meets in mind that she has circled on her calendar.
“The Indiana tournament this weekend should be a positive experience for the whole team,” Williams said. “I am very excited for the Big East schedule as well. There are some tough teams out there, like Notre Dame and Rutgers, that we will have to go up against, but we feel we have a good shot at the title.”
Coach Sweeney feels that with Williams’s work ethic and desire, she has a chance to compete after her career at UM is over.
“She’s a hard worker, and if she decides to continue to swim beyond college, then she could definitely qualify for the Olympic trials,” Sweeney said. “She sets a positive example for the rest of the team and works hard in and out of the pool.”
This time of the season is always hectic for the ‘Canes swimmers and divers. After the Indiana Invite, the team will have a short Thanksgiving break and then have to compete in the U.S. Open, which is always critical for them. These two tournaments will help Miami prepare for the tough conference schedule that awaits.
“I think we are ready for this stretch of the season,” Williams said. “These two tournaments will be a good opportunity for the entire team to prepare for the Big East.”
These two events give Williams a chance to emerge on the national scene by qualifying for the NCAAs and making a name for herself in the tough Big East conference. Given her work ethic and desire, no one should doubt Christine Williams when she says that the Hurricanes are capable of shocking Notre Dame and capturing the Big East crown.
You can reach Eric Kalis at elk777bc@hotmail.com

November 22, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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