Blake Williams, Northern Durham - 20th at Foot Locker Championships


Photos: Courtesy of Brandon Miles,
Blake Williams of Northern Durham is just a junior. Last weekend he competed alongside 2 other NC athletes in San Diego at the Foot Locker Championships. Blake obviously rates this experience as one of the greatest things he's ever done. Blake just missed being named an All-American this year, as he finished 20th overall. The top 15 are named All-Americans, a spot Blake truly didn't even think imaginable at the beginning of the season.

1) How did the race breakdown for you?
From the gun, or cannon, I got stuck in the back again, but i knew that the race would go out fast so I didn't make any crazy moves to get up front. As the crowd spread out I slowly moved up just staying strong. When we hit the hill I made my first move and put myself into position in a good spot to keep advancing. Sadly, I wasn't thinking about everybody else using my race plan so as I moved I was joined by a nice crowd that advanced with me. In the end I made my way up to about 24th or so and just kicked it home. It was a great race.

2) Durty South? Can you explain the spelling and meaning or is it too inside?
Durty South. Well I think that explains itself. Durty South is actually a tradition that Craig brought over from previous South teams at Nike and rumor has it that it used to be at Foot Locker too. The spelling just makes it fun that's all I know about that. We just took advantage of the name and had a lot of fun with it.

3) Who did you room with in San Diego? It looks like the South team became very close. Are these guys you may keep up with in the future? Was there anyone from another region that you clicked with?
Well my room was somewhat special. My real roommate was Shane Moskowitz. Somehow though Jake and I ended up in rooms right beside each other so we connected our rooms making my roommates Jake, Steve Magnuson, and Shane. The South team was amazingly close. As soon as we met we all just clicked and became best buds. But because we were rooming with the west our room sort of became a south/west hangout room. The funny thing about that is that our two regions were sooo competitive and talked trash all week to each other.

4) What does this experience do for you headed into next year? After running at the Foot Locker Champs is it basically a must to relive this experience again next year?
This experience gives me a huge confidence boost. I'm super excited for next season (although this one just ended) I feel like the possibilities are endless. With my place/time and being a junior I'm now in good company. The experience was just so amazing next year it will definitely be one of my goals to come back.

5) How did the football game for you?

Haha the football game was good. Unfortunately it was kind of nasty out so we had to end it early due to rain and wind. Other than that it was great, some how Jake and I ended up being the quarterbacks on the opposing teams so that added some fun. I thought I did pretty well so maybe it could be a bright future for me.

6) What was the coolest thing about the experience besides the race itself?

The coolest thing was probably walking into the room filled with all of the gear. When I walked in I was just amazed, they had shoes and clothes up to the ceiling and all I had to do is give my name and they assigned me a designated pile.

7) So honestly, did you think 20th place in the nation was a possibility headed into this season? It's truly outstanding, Blake. NC is very proud of you!
To be honest qualifying for Foot Locker seemed like a long shot for me so 20th was a dream. Qualifying was one of my main goals so I just worked hard all summer and season and towards the end of the cross country i realized that it was a possibility.