The comeback

When Seth Williams sustained his third stress fracture in as many years in February, he wasn’t overly concerned about what it might do to his senior track season.

After all, the Columbus North senior had the same injury at the same time last season and came back to qualify for the state meet in the 3,200 meters. Using that point of reference, Williams is confident he can do the same this spring.

“It’s exactly the same injury,” Williams said. “I want to even moreso do a lot more alternate (training) than I did before and try to get ahead of the (rehab) schedule to do well at state. I feel a lot better than I did last year at this time.”

After missing the second half of the indoor track season and the first month of the outdoor season with the stress fracture in his left shin, Williams resumed racing two weeks ago. He has run the 1,600 or mile four times — with his times ranging between 4 minutes, 24 seconds and 4:31.

“It’s always great to come back from an injury and do well,” Williams said. “I’m pretty happy with how I’m doing.”

In tonight’s Conference Indiana meet at Bloomington North, Williams will compete in the 3,200. That race will feature a strong field that includes Columbus North’s Chase Ballard, Bloomington North’s Griffin Tichenor and Fergus Arthur, Bloomington South’s Anthony Williams and Terre Haute South’s Spencer Danielson — all of which have been under 9:45, and five of which have been under 9:30.

“To break 9:30 would be a great goal,” Williams said. “I want to hang with the front pack for sure. It’s going to be a fast race.”

“He’ll do fine and score points for us (tonight),” North coach Lou Sipe said. “He has a lot of race experience. He works hard. He’s a phenomenal athlete. Obviously, early in the year, we missed him, but it’s exciting to have him back in the lineup. I think he gives some of our other guys confidence, just knowing that he’s going to be running for us.”

Last fall, Williams finished fourth in the state cross-country meet. North cross-country coach Rick Weinheimer, who coaches the distance runners in track, said Williams has the tools, work ethic and positive attitude, and even when he’s injured, he uses those to his advantage.

“He did all the training he could,” Weinheimer said. “He did all the pool training he could do. When he was allowed to be on a bike, he was on a bike. He’s worked really hard at his fitness level.

“His training is going well,” he said. “We’re being really patient with it, and he’s also being patient. There’s still six weeks to go, so that’s a lot of time. I think he’s ahead of schedule to where he was a year ago.”

Williams committed last fall to run cross-country and track at Purdue.

“It’s a great feeling,” Williams said. “It’s kind of sad to leave this, but there’s better things in the future.”

But first, he has some unfinished business to attend at the high school level. He is hoping for a top-nine finish in the state meet that would earn him his first state track medal.

“That’s the goal,” Williams said. “I want to medal.”

If you go

What: Conference Indiana boys and girls track and field meet

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Bloomington North High School

Teams: Columbus North, Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Franklin Central, Perry Meridian, Southport, Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.