Senior Nature Williams-Harkins looks forward to track season


Chris Bass

Clearing the hurdle, Williams-Harkins competes in a meet at Parkway Central. Williams-Harkins raced the 100 meter hurdles.“When the gun goes off, it is complete silence. I can’t hear anything. It is just a straight shot,” Williams-Harkins said.

Claire Smout, Awards Coordinator

State champion, state runner-up, district champion and all-conference are just a few of the titles senior Nature Williams-Harkins has earned in her high school track career so far.

It all started for Williams-Harkins in fourth grade when she became interested in running. In eighth grade, she began running more competitively for the Herbert Hoover Youth Track Club.

“I just went home one day, and I told my mom I thought I wanted to run. She told me to go for it, [so] I tried it, and it came naturally to me,” Williams-Harkins said.

When she first started running, Williams-Harkins found success in 100-meter and 200-meter springs and soon after began racing the 400-meter as well. However, the club meets required athletes to compete in four events, meaning she needed another. That was when she discovered hurdles.

“It came naturally for me. I guess I am just able to do it, and I know that there are a lot of people who can’t, so I was happy that I was given the opportunity to try it,” Williams-Harkins said. “I had a coach named Mark who told me I had to just come out and try. [When] I jumped over my first hurdle, I instantly caught on.”

Nature continued competing for the Herbert Hoover Youth Track Club through the summer of her sophomore year. She has competed on her high school track team all three years; her freshman and sophomore years at The Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience and her junior year at West.

“Freshman year, I was the only person from my whole entire high school to make it to state, and I placed fourth. My sophomore year, I won state in the 100-meter hurdles, and I placed second in the 4×100. My junior year I went to state, and I was unfortunately injured, but I was proud to still make it to state,” Williams-Harkins said.

Coming to West her junior year, Williams-Harkins’ talent and attitude was welcomed by the track team.

“Nature adds positivity, speed and smiles to our team,” teammate and junior Harmauhny Faulkner said. “She is always positive during meets, and she cheers me on and makes me feel good. She is always working on how to do better.”

Williams-Harkins is looking forward to her final high school season with the team.

“I would love to see Nature step into more of a leadership role for the team. She has a lot of experience which would benefit others on the team,” girls track coach Kristen Witt said.

After years of competition, William-Harkins has learned to perform under pressure.

“I think about nothing when I race. When the gun goes off, it is complete silence. I can’t hear anything. It is just a straight shot,” Williams-Harkins said. “Honestly, I feel nothing until I cross the line, and then it all comes back. It’s over.”

Williams-Harkins specializes in the 100-meter hurdles and hopes to qualify for state again this season. She is also looking forward to exploring the 300-meter hurdles more.

“I will [accomplish my goals by] working hard,” Williams-Harkins said. “Hard work beats dedication, so that means going to practices, extra practices, keeping my head on straight and doing what I need to do.”