Colorado’s Top Sprinter Commits to Utah, but Not to Swim

  5 Braden Keith | February 07th, 2013 | College, College Recruiting, Featured, News

Rhianna Williams, one of the leaders of the defending Colorado State Champions from Fossil Ridge and the state’s best sprinter not named Missy Franklin, signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to the University of Utah. Alas, it was not to swim, as Williams’ commitment was to join the Utes’ track & field team.

Williams is the defending Colorado 5A State Champion in both the 50 and 100 freestyles, and psych sheets would show that she’s favored to repeat in both events. Williams, who swims club for the Fort Collins Area Swim Team, has sprint bests of 23.48 in the 50 and 51.11 in the 100 free which, incidentally would have likely landed her immediately on Utah’s sprint free relays next season as a freshman along with their standout star Traycie Swartz.

The two-sport star, however, is also the defending Colorado State Champion in the 400 meter dash (55.36).

She harkens back to swimmers like Stevens Institute of Technology’s Laura Barrito, who was an NCAA Division III Champion in both the 50 freestyle and the 400 meter hurdles; or Julie Stupp who was an 11-time All-American for Auburn and a part of two National Championship teams, then qualified for the NCAA track & field championships at Arizona; or even Gwen Jorgensen from Wisconsin who was a former high-level runner and swimmer for the Badgers before making the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in the triathlon. The number of athletes able to compete in both sports, at that level, in the NCAA are few-and-far-between, though.

At least Williams will be able to say that her last ever swim meet was a sellout; tickets were sold out (every state qualifier was guaranteed 2) before they even went on sale to the public at 3PM on Wednesday.


  1. Billy says:

    Julie Stupp swam for Zona, not Auburn

    • Braden KeithBraden Keith says:

      Billy – she swam three years for Auburn, 1 year for Arizona (she broke the school record in the 400 IM in that one year, if I’m not mistaken).

  2. 0

    Wosh. She’ll be lightening in the Triathlon. Buy that gal a bike.

  3. coacherik says:

    The beauty of her event selection in swimming is that should do both, IF she wanted to. Depending on her track coaches and the swim team’s staff willingness to work together, it can happen. We had a girl at Ball State run XC/Track and swim for the 200/500 at the same time..

  4. JG says:

    I think a T & F scholarship would be a lot more fun . T&F girls know they are never going to get Flo ‘s records. The 400 has been a similar standard for 20 years ie lucky to break 50 for world medal lists. 55secs for a young 400 runner is nice.

    It’s like Yoga – no need to fight to get into some of those positions only freaks manage.

    Whereas all young swimmers are judged against the worlds NCAA they actually have to compete against them due to the age development arc being earlier in swimming.

    Another bonus is that if you are white then nobody expects anything of you in t&f.

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Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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