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Penn State Harrisburg hurdler makes program history, heads to nationals

By David Barr, davidbarr@pressandjournal.com
Posted 3/9/17

Penn State Harrisburg sophomore Ashley Williams received a supportive sendoff Wednesday morning before she prepared to depart for Illinois.

The sophomore hurdler is only the second Penn State …

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Penn State Harrisburg hurdler makes program history, heads to nationals

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Penn State Harrisburg sophomore Ashley Williams received a supportive sendoff Wednesday morning before she prepared to depart for Illinois.
The sophomore hurdler is only the second Penn State Harrisburg athlete to advance to nationals in the track and field program’s brief history and the first female athlete to do so.

She departed campus Wednesday morning for North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships March 10-11. There were hand-made signs, blue and white pompoms and congratulatory cheers and well wishes from more than two dozen supporters prior to her departure from the Capital Union Building.
Williams competes in the 60-meter hurdles and has accomplished much in her brief time at Penn State Harrisburg. As a freshman, she won the 60m hurdles event at the Capital Atlantic Conference championships and finished third in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships.
This year, Williams broke her own record in the CAC championship, with a time of 8.95 seconds and broke through in the ECAC championships, taking home top honors and a spot in the nationals with a time of 8.99 seconds. Now she’ll be competing against 16 of the best in the nation at the national championships.
“I’ll just go out there and compete, run my hardest and leave it all on the track,” Williams said.
After coming up just short last year, Williams and her coach Danielle Lynch formulated a game plan for this season that helped Williams come into this season mentally and physically stronger, and it paid off.
“She’s so focused,” Lynch said. “She has dreams (of winning an NCAA championship) and this is the first step to doing that. She works hard and ignores distractions. I’m very proud of her.”
For those interested in watching Williams’ efforts, Lynch will stream her runs on Friday and Saturday — if she makes it — on the Penn State Harrisburg track and field Facebook page.
Williams’ Friday run will occur at 2:30 Eastern Time. If all goes well, she will run at 2:35 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday.
“I’m just going to go out there and kill it,” Williams said.

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