June 1, 2012
HILTON HEAD - Coastal Carolina cross country/track and field alumna Jolene Williams was inducted into the Big South Conference Hall of Fame on Thursday night, May 31, during a ceremony as part of the League's annual Spring Meetings Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner.
Williams was joined by former Winthrop baseball player Jason Colson, former Liberty radio broadcaster Jerry Edwards, former UNC Greensboro women's golfer Becky Morgan and former Winthrop men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall as the members of the Hall of Fame class of 2012.
Williams, who was inducted into the Coastal Carolina George F. "Buddy" Sasser Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 22, 2006, is the 16th Chanticleer inducted into the conference Hall of Fame. Including Winthrop's pair of 2012 inductees, the Eagles rank second behind Coastal with eight members of the Hall of Fame. Additionally, she is only the fifth inductee representing the sports of cross country/track and field (four athletes, one head coach). She joins former teammate Catherine Conder (Big South Hall of Fame class of 2010) as representatives of Coastal's storied cross country/track and field program.
The Middlebury, Ind., native compiled one of Coastal Carolina's most decorated athletic careers that included All-American status and numerous Big South Conference honors. She was an 11-time Big South individual champion while competing in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track. Williams was a three-time Big South women's cross country champion in 1997, 1998 and 1999; was a six-time Big South women's indoor track champion (Mile: 1998-99; 3,000 meters: 1998-00; 5,000 meters: 2000); and a two-time Big South women's outdoor track champion (1,500 meters: 1998-99).
Williams earned All-Conference honors a total of 15 times (Cross Country: four; Indoor Track: eight, Outdoor Track: three) and was voted the Big South's Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year in 1998 and 1999. She led Coastal Carolina to the 1997 Big South Women's Cross Country title and qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championship in 1997 and 1998, becoming the Conference's first two-time NCAA qualifier. She was also named USTFCCCA All-Region in cross country three times (1997, 1998, and 1999). Williams earned All-America honors in 1998 in both indoor track (3,000 meters) and outdoor track (5,000 meters). She was the national runner-up in the 3,000-meter run at the 1998 NCAA Indoor Track National Championships and finished seventh in the 3,000-meter run at the 1998 NCAA Outdoor Track National Championships.
Williams still holds the Big South record for fastest indoor track 3,000-meter run (9:25.29), and also holds the Conference Championship record in that event as well. She ranks among the Big South's all-time Top 10 performers in three events in indoor and outdoor track (ITF: 3,000-meter run - 1st; 5,000-meter run - 5th; Mile Run - 8th), (OTF: 3,000-meter run - 2nd; 1,500-meter run - 5th; 5,000-meter run - 6th). In addition, Williams was the silver medalist in the 3,000-meter run at the 1998 Penn Relays.
In the classroom, Williams was a seven-time Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year in Cross Country (1998-99), Indoor Track (1998-00) and Outdoor Track (1998-99) and was voted the Big South's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year three times (1998, 1999, 2000) -- the only three-time winner in Conference history. She earned CoSIDA Academic All-America Third-Team selection in 1999 and USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors in 1997.