1999 USATF ATHLETE BIOGRAPHY (written by Jeff Hollobaugh)

Todd Williams


Born: March 7, 1969 in Detroit, Mi

Current Residence: Knoxville, Tn

PRs: 5000m 13:19.50 (1995); 10,000 27:31.34 (1995); Marathon 2:11:17 (1997)

High School: Monroe, Mi '87

College: Tennessee '91

Height: 5-10

Weight: 145

Coach: George Watts / self-coached

Agent: Flynn Sports Management

Club: adidas

1985: won Michigan Class A XC title.

1986: best of 8:33.1 (3000)… won Michigan indoor title in 2 mile (9:21.5)…won Michigan HS title in 3200 (9:11.63)…won Michigan Class A XC title.

1987: best of 8:23.4 (3000)…2nd in USA Junior XC Trials…won Michigan indoor title in 2 mile (9:07.5)…23rd in World Junior XC Champs…won Michigan HS title in 3200 (9:01.8)…35th in NCAA XC.

1988: bests of 14:24.29 and 29:46.5…won USA Junior XC Trials…15th in World Junior XC Champs…19th in NCAA XC Champs.

1989: bests of 14:14.08 and 28:57.7…15th in 10,000 at NCAA…6th in NCAA XC.

1990: bests of 13:48.16 and 28:41.97…3rd in 5000 at NCAA Indoor (13:50.41)…4th in 10,000 at NCAA…did not finish 10,000 at USA Champs…8th in NCAA XC.

1991: bests of 13:41.50 and 28:18.4…3rd in 5000 (13:41.50) at NCAA Indoor…won 10,000 at SEC…2nd in 10,000, 3rd in 5000 at NCAA…won USA XC Champs…ranked #5 U.S. at 10,000 by T&FN.

1992: bests of 13:36.99 and 28:05.9…19th in World XC Champs…won 10,000 (28:19.82) at Olympic Trials…10th in 10,000 at Olympic Games…2nd in USA XC Champs…ranked #1 U.S. at 10,000, #8 U.S. at 5000 by T&FN.

1993: bests of 13:20.13 and 27:40.37…won USA XC Trials…20th in World XC Champs…won 10,000 (28:02.05) at USA Champs…7th in 10,000 (28:30.49) at World Champs…won USA XC Champs…ranked #9 in world (#1 U.S.) at 10,000 by T&FN; #3 U.S. at 5000.

1994: best of 13:47.0…injured for much of year…3rd in USA XC Champs.

1995: bests of 13:19.50 and 27:31.34…won USA 15K Champs (42:22 AR)…9th in World XC Champs…won 10,000 (28:01.84) at USA Champs…9th in 10,000 (27:52.87) at World Champs…ranked #1 U.S. at 10,000, #3 U.S. at 5000 by T&FN; #2 U.S. at 3000.

1996: bests of 13:21.95 and 28:56.58…won USA 15K Champs (43:49)…won 10,000 (28:46.58) at Olympic Trials…did not finish 10,000 heat at Olympic Games…2nd at USA XC Champs…ranked #1 U.S. at 10,000, #5 U.S. at 5000 by T&FN; #4 U.S. at 3000.

1997: bests of 13:20.39, 27:58.13 and 2:11:17…won 3000 (7:50.49) at USA Indoor…did not finish USA 15K Champs…did not finish 5000 final at USA Champs…won USA 10M Road Champs (47:46)…10th in Chicago marathon (2:11:17 debut) …ranked #2 U.S. at 10,000, #3 U.S. at 3000, 5000 and marathon by T&FN.

1998: bests of 13:56.78 and 28:45.09…won USA 15K Champs (44:06).

The Rest of the Story: Son of a former minor league catcher, Williams started out as a football player. Every day, the players had to run the "Big Lap", with captain of the week honors going to the winner. After 50 or 60 straight wins, the coach suggested Williams try cross country instead…he ran 4:34 for the mile in his first race…coached by Dave Bork in high school; his brother John was the 1961 NCAA 880y champ…earned his degree in psychology at Tennessee…his 7th in the 10,000 at the 1993 Worlds was the best U.S. finish in an Olympic or World 10,000 since Frank Shorter placed 5th in 1972; he said, "I've still got to decide if I want to push it in a race hard enough to join the top guys"…faced with a slow pace in the 1995 Worlds, Williams took the lead after 1.5 laps. He ran two miles in front, but finished 9th. That got him much criticism for going out too fast, few noticing he had run his second half faster than his first: "You've got to throw that behind your back and go to the next year"…married to Stephanie, who nabbed a 10th in the Olympic Trials in swimming in 1992; one daughter, Brook (born 1997)…was sidelined much of 1998 by tendinitis in his groin: "It wasn't a tear, but it was a monster of an injury. Every sneeze or cough felt like a razor blade in my groin. I had my last run on June 10 and didn't start again until mid-November. I'm on an intense stretching program now, and that's helped. The groin pain is gone, but it's a pain to get back in shape. My first and foremost goal for 1999 is to stay healthy"…is planning to race the roads more than ever, but will also contest the USA XC Champs and Track Champs…"I'd like to break 2:10 at the Chicago Marathon."