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.