DESOTO, TX — Four one hundredths of a second. For Chrishuna Williams that was the difference between her Olympic dreams, and staying home for the summer.
Last month in Oregon, Williams qualified for Rio in the 800 meter race by a split second, but her Olympic journey began here, at DeSoto High School.
“I’ve always known that Chrishuna [had] a little extra to her,” said her mother, Christeen Williams. “As far as her running she’s always an outdoor person and she always just had that extra fight in her.”
A member of the 2011 state champion relay team at DeSoto, Chrishuna went on to the University of Arkansas and continued her track pursuit.
But she is amazingly new to her current Olympic race. She switched to the 800 meter from the 400 meter just two years ago.
“Her college coach was able to convince her that she really had the strength, she had enough good speed and could handle the pain that the 800 takes,” explained June Villers, DeSoto’s girls track and field coach and Chrishuna’s high school coach. “For her to be able to maintain that speed for that kind of distance takes an incredible athlete and we knew she always had that capability.”
“I think the thing that really stands out about her is her tenacity.” said Orlando Mitchell, head coach of the North Texas Cheetahs Track Club.
Now, she’ll be walking out with Team USA, under the American flag with the hopes of a nation on her shoulders, and the pride of her friends and family back in North Texas.
“My heart is just so excited right now,” said Christeen. “I just can’t wait to see her.
Four one hundredths of a second. Less than the blink of an eye. But for Chrishuna Williams, it made the difference of a lifetime.