Swimmer reaches OFSAA for three different sports

STILL WET, Bayview Mills swimmer Christopher Williams pauses for a photo while practising at the Granite Club on May 30 to prepare for OFSAA in early June. He has also excelled in track and cross-country running.

He’s the voice that liaises Bayview Glen students with their student council two times a week.

But behind the communication rep’s executive role beats the heart of a disciplined athlete, one that has seen OFSAA three times this year in three different sports.

Most recently, the grade 12 Gryphon, Chris Williamson spent two days in Sudbury for OFSAA’s 2011 track and field meet, June 2–4.

It’s more of a distance than the previous two meets for cross country in his hometown and swimming in Etobicoke, but ask him how he feels about his athletic trifecta and he’ll admit it was a pursuit of his since last year.

“I made it my goal at the beginning of the year to make OFSAA in all three sports,” he said. “I was fairly confident I could make the swimming standards for OFSAA, but I wanted to see if I could do it for cross country and track as well.”

This year’s stats piled up quickly. After qualifying for OFSAA with the cross country squad, he finished 78th overall in the 7,000 metre run Nov. 8.

His primary sport, swimming, came next as he grabbed a silver at his CISAA meet in the 200-metre freestyle with a 2:01.27 time, and snared a bronze in the 100 metre with a 56.83 finish. He just missed the podium with a fourth place finish in the 100-metre butterfly.

Choosing to race in freestyle only at OFSAA, he netted two sixth place finishes: 55.20 in the 100 freestyle and 1:56.62 in the 200 metre. Swim coach Paola Barron lauded her pool denizen’s ease of sportsmanship.

“He was very disciplined when he walked in,” she said. “He obviously knew a lot of the swimmers because he would hang out with them.

“He’s just very humble.”

Still, it should come naturally, as Williamson swims with club team the Granite Gators based out of North York.

For him though, all of his sports evolve from water.

“(Swimming) kind of forms my athletic base,” he said. “Last year I participated in cross country and track to give myself some variety.”

He even credits a late-season swim camp for giving him that extra boost in his endurance in track at the recent Metro meet.

“That helped build up an aerobic base and when track season started up I worked on my running and was able to qualify for OFSAA.”

At the Metros he qualified for OFSAA with a silver in mens 3,000 metre with a time of 9:07.59. He placed seventh in the mens 1,500 metre, finishing with 4:17.74.

Of course the race isn’t over when he graduates. Williamson will be taking English at Western, and he’ll be hitting the pool.

Why English?

“It’s just been my favourite subject over the course of high school,” he said. “I really enjoy reading literature and analysis.”

And he’s hoping the author of one of his favourite books, Salem’s Lot, will be picked up in the classroom for study.

“In terms of Stephen King, I really think his writing is phenomenal and that’s what’s led to his success,” Williamson said. “I think there is potential for study there because I appreciate the way he creates atmosphere in his books and his depictions of society and setting are so integral to the story.”

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