EUGENE, Ore. – Prior to redshirt junior Jaleesa Williams stepping on campus at VCU, the Rams had never had a thrower advance to the NCAA East Regionals.
Just four years later, Williams became the first-ever VCU thrower to earn All-American accolades with a 12th-place showing in the discus at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Her performance earned her Second-Team All-American honors.
"Jaleesa came out and stood in the face of all the pressure and had another career day, improving her school record when it mattered the most," Throws coach Ethan Tussing said. "There were a lot of great throws today by the entire field and it was incredibly tough to make the final. It is exciting to be so close to the final, but equally tough to be so close. We are thrilled to achieve All-American status and hungry for the future."
Williams' throw of 53.12m (174' 3") broke her own school record that she set last week of 52.23m (171' 4"). To put it in perspective, the Virginia Beach, Va. native entered the 2013 outdoor season with a PR of 49.01m (160' 9").
"I would have loved to make it to the finals, but I'm over the moon that I was able to PR again," Williams said. "Just like after the East Regionals meet, I can't stop smiling."
The 12th-place finish by Williams is the best finish for a Ram since Maria Elena Calle's top-10 finish in 2001.