A year ago, Oaks Christian could feel a change brewing in its track and field program.
The Lions had just finished tied for 11th at the CIF state track and field meet but in the stands, Lauren Rain William observed her future team and immediately began dreaming.
“I thought we could win state next year,” Williams said, “I didn’t know who would do what events or who would run what relay, I just thought we could do it.”
Williams, then a freshman, transferred to Oaks from Long Beach Poly that March and immediately blended in with Schuyler Moore, Sarah Johnson and cousin Miah Webb.
“I knew from the start it was going to be special,” Moore said, “You could tell the way we came together that the dynamic was better than it had ever been.”
At this year’s Arcadia Invitational, that promise was validated. The foursome won the girls 4×100 meter relay in a national-leading time of 45.57 seconds.
Williams won the girls 100 and 200 in 11.42 and 23.57, respectively. The message was delivered – Oaks Christian was no longer just good but a state title contender.
“Racing against Poly and all those teams, we proved that we have the potential to win state,” Johnson said.
The Lions return to Buchanan High School in Clovis this weekend looking to fulfill that goal at the state track and field finals. Yet driving the team has been a combination of talented and fun-loving athletes who made this journey memorable.
“We love running together so our chemistry makes it that much better,” Webb said.
Saturday’s final could be a coronation for the Lions, who could win the overall team title for the first time in school history. A big reason for that is Williams, the state leader in the 200 and holder of the second-fastest time in the 100 this season.
Williams and Webb never dreamed of running together in high school together with Williams living in Long Beach and Webb living in Glendale. When Williams transferred, the Lions’ family vibe took on a different meaning.
She also had a smooth transition with her new teammates because everyone immediately made her feel welcome.