It is with great pride, affection and inspiration that the Ann Arbor Track Club deems Lex Williams, a sub-4:00 minute miler and Olympic Trial qualifier, one of our own.
After experiencing success as a youth athlete running competitively in the Hershey Track and Field Program, formerly “the largest youth sports program of its kind in the United States and Canada” which later became the national Run Jump Throw program, Lex joined the Ann Arbor Track Club at the age of ten and ran with the Youth Division.
“I loved the crowded track,” Lex recalls, “being around knowledgeable coaches and meeting other kids and people who enjoyed running as much as I did. I remember the joy of pushing myself against the older kids and adults all running around the track at the same time.”
Such enjoyable experiences along with strong family bonds and his outgoing, adventurous spirit helped propel Williams towards a brilliant running career that continues to thrive.
“Lex was a great athlete to work with,” maintains Nicholas Stanko who coached Lex at Dexter High School during his senior track season. “He did what he needed to do to be the best he could be. He was a fierce competitor, and every time he laced up his spikes, you knew he would put everything on the line to get the win.”
Williams’ drive and success continued at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor under former Coach Ron Warhurst and upon graduation in 2010, Lex began his professional running career whereupon he has continued to reap great rewards amongst considerable challenges.
“I think the biggest differences,” Lex notes regarding professional vs. amateur status, “are that you have to build your own support system and surround yourself with people who are better than you. It was a huge wake-up call moving to New Hampshire my first year out of college” as part of post-collegiate training group, In the Arena, “and training with Ben True every day. In addition to being incredibly physically talented, he does everything right: trains hard, recovers, eats, and sleeps to be the best runner and athlete he possibly can be.”
“Dedicated, hard working and passionate in all aspects of life,” as described by proud parent, Donna Williams, Lex, a sponsored Saucony athlete since 2016, ran 3:51.38 in the 1500 Meter Run at the 2016 Olympic Trials despite missing his goal of running in the 2012 Trials due to injury.
“I struggled for a few years with running after graduation,” Williams humbly, while optimistically admits. “It took me a little while to mature as an athlete and figure out the sacrifices it takes to be a true professional athlete. You have to make a plan and commit to it.”
Further exemplifying his own beliefs and Donna’s precise portrayal, Lex once again relocated in 2017, this time to Colorado, to pursue a teaching career with Teach for America, a nonprofit organization whose “national corps of leaders commit to teaching in low-income schools and work to increase their students’ opportunities in life.”
In addition to his work as a full time math teacher and 2020 Olympic Trial marathon hopeful, Lex also coaches his middle school’s cross-country and track teams.
“We are very proud of all Lex’s accomplishments and the man he has become,” asserts Donna who reflects the sentiments of so many but not simply because he has achieved so much in only thirty-one youthful years.
Lex epitomizes humanity at its best inadvertently becoming a role model for us all.