March 19, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia true freshman Kendell Williams has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year following her performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships, according to a USTFCCCA announcement Wednesday.
Williams, a native of Marietta, Ga., recorded personal bests in all five of her events to set a personal record in the overall pentathlon with 4,635 points at the Albuquerque (N.M.) Convention Center on March 15. This mark shattered an array of records, including the school, facility, collegiate (4,569, Makeba Alcide, 2013) and World Junior (4,535, Sweden’s Carolina Kluft, 2002) marks.
During her run to Georgia’s 13th NCAA individual indoor title on the women’s side, Williams also established a new NCAA Championships meet record and matched the collegiate pentathlon high jump record after clearing 6 feet, 2 inches. The 5-foot-9 Lady Bulldog won three of the pentathlon’s five events at Nationals and finished her first indoor season in four different spots on Georgia’s all-time top-10 lists, including the No. 2 fastest time in the 60-meter hurdles (8.21).
Williams, who is 18-years-old and younger sister of current Bulldog decathlete Devon Williams, competed in her first collegiate pentathlon in late January at the same facility in New Mexico. She set an American Junior record by winning the Cherry & Silver Invitational with 4,302 points. At the Southeastern Conference Championships, Williams finished as the runner-up (4,283 points) behind 2013 NCAA champion and 2014 NCAA runner-up Erica Bougard of Mississippi State.
During the first month of the season, Williams was named the National Women’s Athlete of the Week following her performance at the Cherry & Silver meet. In 2013, another pair of true freshmen - Maicel Uibo and Shaunae Miller - swept the weekly awards for the men and women during the outdoor season in mid-April.
The last national annual honor for Georgia came when Torrin Lawrence was named the USTFCCCA National Men’s Runner of the Year following the 2010 indoor season.
Georgia starts its outdoor season by splitting squads this weekend. One group will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the John Mitchell Alabama Relays and a crew of throwers will cross the country for the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.