Northwestern State jumper Aaron Williams admitted he was disappointed to not cap an outstanding collegiate career with a trip to the NCAA Outdoors Track and Field Championships in early June.
But Williams won’t end his track and field career without gracing the runways of Eugene, Ore.
The Duson native qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the triple jump with his personal best of 16.10 meters (52-10) launched at NSU’s Leon Johnson Invitational this past April.
Williams, one of 24 triple jumpers, will compete July 7 in the opening round, hoping to be one of nine jumpers to make the July 9 final.
“I didn’t get to end my NSU season like I wanted, but I was sitting around (at the NCAA Regionals), and (coach Wes Miller) said I had a good chance to qualify for the Olympic Trials,” Williams said. “I told him I would love to take that opportunity to compete, and we had to wait and see if my mark would be in the top 24 (finished tied for 23rd).
“Everything was confirmed in the middle of last week, and I just don’t have the words to describe the blessing that is to be able to make it. I’m excited, happy and a little nervous.”
A maximum of three triple jumpers can represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro provided they meet the Olympic standard (16.66m).
Williams is nearly halfway to his fundraising goal of $3,000 (raised $1,315 by Monday evening), and the jumper is humbly asking for financial support.
“It’s been a dream of mine to compete at the Olympics, and it would mean a lot to me for people to continue to support so I can make it to the Olympic Trials,” Williams said. “It’s all I’ve thought about since I started progressing my athletics ability at NSU, and I would greatly appreciate any help people can give.