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Williams sprinting past decade-long track record

Coppell+sophomore+Sophia+Williams+broke+the+school%E2%80%99s+800-meter+run+record+set+in+2010+on+Feb.+24+at+the+Hebron+Hawk+Relays%2C+setting+a+new+record+of+1%3A40.+Williams+has+been+in+track+and+field+since+seventh+grade+at+Coppell+Middle+School+North%2C+inspired+by+her+older+siblings%E2%80%99+athletic+accomplishments.
Ava Johnson
Coppell sophomore Sophia Williams broke the school’s 800-meter run record set in 2010 on Feb. 24 at the Hebron Hawk Relays, setting a new record of 1:40. Williams has been in track and field since seventh grade at Coppell Middle School North, inspired by her older siblings’ athletic accomplishments.

Anticipating the gunshot, ready to take off in her lane, Coppell sophomore Sophia Williams repeats the Philippians 4:13 verse, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” prepared to give the race her all.

On Feb. 24 at the Hebron Hawk Relays, Williams broke the school record in the 800-meter run set in 2010 by one second at 1:40.

When it comes to competition, Williams’s specialty lies in relay events, specifically the 800-meter run and 1,600-meter relays. Her recent triumphs include earning first place in the 800-meter relay with a time of 1:40 and in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:02 seconds, along with receiving third place in the 200-meter sprint with a time of 25 seconds – merely 30 milliseconds away from surpassing the 2015 record.

Williams’ track journey began in seventh grade at Coppell Middle School East. However, her love for running traces back to her childhood when she ran with her father and older sister, Coppell senior track runner Emma Williams.

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Growing up watching all her older siblings succeed within track, Sophia believed she had the potential to achieve that greatness, if not more.

“I saw Sophia’s interest and passion for track being sparked last year when she first began high school track,” Emma said. “Our family already knew that she was a great runner in middle school, but I saw her being on the same team as me for the current school year as a chance to help her be better than I was at her age.”

With Sophia previously playing basketball in her freshman year, she suffered a leg injury in the final game, forcing her to sit out for the 2023 track season. Nonetheless, she returned to running better than ever with the motivation of gaining speed, utilizing her summer in track to grind.

“Sophia is very self-motivated and you’re not going to hear her be the loudest in the room because while she isn’t a verbal leader, she leads by example with her work ethic,” Coppell girls track coach Landon Wren said. “I don’t have to question what she’s doing during practice because I am confident that she’s always doing exactly what she needs to do to reach her highest potential.”

Sophia’s weekly routine revolves around having daily practices with bi-weekly after-school practices and weight room sessions, including warm-ups and specialized workouts based on the upcoming relay that she will be competing in.

“It is hard to balance academics with sports, and even though I’ve had to pull a few all-nighters, what motivates me most is the fact that I may be able to earn an athletic college scholarship,” Sophia said. “It helps me reflect on how far I’ve come since seventh grade and I remind myself how proud I’ve made my dad with my improvement.”

In a family with five siblings, Sophia and her three older siblings are all well-experienced in track with each earning a time on the Coppell track and field record board.

“Sophia and I are very competitive with each other but I like being on track with her because her success motivates me to be faster and work harder too,” Emma said. “We do the same events and since we’ve only been able to spend two years as teammates, I think we share the spotlight well.”

Sophia makes the most of having mentors in her family through their support and help with events they have previously run.

“After seeing how much hard work Sophia put into just focusing on track in the fall of 2023, I knew this would be a good year for her,” Wren said. “Setting a new 800-meter record was just the beginning for Sophia and I think there could potentially be more track records to be broken by her – the sky’s the limit for her.”

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on March 22, 2024.