Decatur grad set to revive Green River cross country

Decatur High School graduate Chris Williams will get a chance to restart the cross country program at Auburn’s Green River Community College.

Decatur High School graduate Chris Williams will get a chance to restart the cross country program at Auburn’s Green River Community College.

Green River announced Friday that Williams has accepted the role as head coach of the Gator cross country teams. Green River last fielded a competitive running squad in the spring of 1992.

“I am excited about this opportunity that Green River has extended towards me,” Williams said. “I have been running in this area for several years now and I know there is much talent in the greater Auburn/Kent area. This is a great opportunity for the Green River campus and the community in to capitalize on the running culture in Washington.”

Williams recently graduated from Washington State University, where he competed on both the Cougar cross country and track teams. He ran for prominent Washington State coach Jason Drake for three seasons. Williams’ Cougar career was highlighted by a career-best 10-kilometer time of 30:41.22 in his final run at Washington State last month. Williams finished in ninth place at the 2008 Pac 10 Conference Championships in the event.

Williams was also named honorable mention on three straight All-Pac-10 Academic Team’s.

“Coach Williams is a highly-motivated, energetic, runner who is connected to the local running scene,” said Green River athletic director Bob Kickner. “We have a challenge in front of us to get Green River running again, but I expect he is up to the task.”

Williams will officially take over the reins of the Green River program in August, but he is currently recruiting athletes to fill the roster for the 2008 season.

Prior to coming to GRCC, Coach Williams has been coaching in the Federal Way Track Club under Head Coach Daryl Genest. He graduated from Decatur in 2003 and earned eight letters — four in cross country, three in track and one in swimming.

He was captain of the Decatur track team as a senior and finished 13th in the 1,600 meters as a seinor at the Class 4A State Track and Field Meet. He also took eighth at Junior Olympics in 1,500 in 2001.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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