Confident, clever Williams has overcome a lot to leap

January 22, 2016 - accent chair

Tierra Williams leaned behind in a table chair and put her feet adult on a dais nearby a prolonged burst array in a Devaney Sports Center.

Confident, poised. Williams’ grin comes easily. Her accent is pristine Midwest; in other words, there is no accent. She is educational All-Big Ten and carries a large grade-point average.

She blitzed by her initial lane accommodate of her youth deteriorate during Nebraska final weekend, winning a prolonged burst and triple jump, and was a fastest collegian in a 60-meter dash. This weekend, in a Mark Colligan Memorial accommodate Saturday during Devaney, she’ll try to urge on her try during earning improved outlines this season.

Everything seems serene, secure, safe.

Her life and her destiny are mapped out in office of a career in conversing or therapy with her vital in family services and a teenager in criminology.

“So many people helped me, we wish to assistance others a same way,” she said. “I was given all a resources to attain and we try to do my best. we consider my faith has a lot to do with that.

“I run lane and we jump, yet that’s not me, that’s what we do.”

That sounds so opposite from 10 years ago, when Tierra and her family changed from New Orleans to Auburn after Hurricane Katrina ripped detached so many lives.

“But it seems like yesterday, when we was 11 and we changed to Auburn from Louisiana,” she said. “I was angry, confused, quiet, and when we did talk, we was mean. No, we wasn’t pleasing to be around.”

The Williams’ family — her dad, Troy; mom, Andrea; comparison brothers Troy and Tory; and younger siblings, Tyler, Taja and Tamia — landed in Auburn after a array of hops from one place to a next. The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow wrote an in-depth, 10-years-after story that explained a struggles of her father pang from cancer and ethanol problems, and her mom battling to keep a family going. The story also explained how Tierra was one of a splendid lights in a adjustment.

“I had never seen a white chairman solely on TV,” Tierra said. “People in my propagandize (at Auburn), we don’t consider they had ever seen a black person. Plus, a schools behind in Louisiana weren’t unequivocally good, and here we was, we couldn’t review or write. we was in fifth class and my reading was during a second-grade level. It was annoying and we was removing bullied about my accent and my miss of reading skills.

“But we had Mrs. (Joellen) Hamman as my English teacher, and she had me review out shrill and helped me so most since we had a lot of throwing adult to do.”

A few years later, Tierra was vehement to be a cheerleader and a member of a basketball and volleyball teams.

“I didn’t have a grades to be a cheerleader, and that is when it strike me we had to be a improved tyro and a improved reader and learn how to pronounce though an accent,” she said.

Track held her attention, too.

“I hated it,” she said. “They entered me in a 400 and we hated it. Every notation of it we pronounced I’d quit, so they let me try prolonged burst and triple burst and some sprints.”

She won 4 state titles in high propagandize her comparison year on tip of 3 prior state titles for Auburn.

Even yet home life wasn’t perfect, she was recruited, perceived an educational grant and a possibility to keep using track.

“Tierra has come by so most and achieved so much, it unequivocally is moving to know how distant she has come,” pronounced Husker lane manager Gary Pepin. “People wish to be around her. She wants to be around a team.”

For Williams, removing by a whole lane deteriorate was a chore.

“I hated indoor lane — everything, generally my shins and my right knee harm some-more — yet it’s a possibility to be with my teammates and a possibility to get prepared for a outside season. Running in a elements, a sunshine, a breeze creates me feel flattering good. I’ve got zero to protest about … well, there is this clunking in my knee.

“But all is positive. we am going to be assured and positive.

“Confidence, attitude. It’s a miracle. we have to be happy. No some-more disastrous thoughts. Just positive. There were points where we thought, ‘I don’t know if we could do this,’ yet my faith is my stone and we started to count on that.”

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