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May 30, 2011

Huskies' prize Kasen Williams finally catches breath

After etching his name in bold letters in the Washington high school track and field record books, Kasen Williams is now starting to see purple.

With his illustrious prep athletic career in the rear-view mirror, the Skyline High School three-sport star is now starting to envision fall football camp with the Washington Huskies. He has a football-geared workout he's preparing to start.

But first, he is planning to shut down the engines and idle a while.

"I've been going three sports hard for four years now," said Williams, the Huskies' prize wide receiver recruit and Parade Magazine's national player of the year. "I'm going to rest for two weeks. I don't know what yet, but I know I'm going to be sitting around putting ice all over my body and just watching TV and maybe going out, hanging with some friends. Just doing something that just mellows me out so I can calm down and chill out for the first time in my life."

Williams captured three more Class 4A state track and field titles over the weekend in Tacoma, giving him five for his career.

On the gridiron at Skyline, he teamed up with current BYU quarterback Jake Heaps for three gridiron state titles, barely missing a fourth as the Max Browne-led Spartans lost to Ferris of Spokane, 24-16, in the 2010 state finals.

Williams finished with 56 career touchdowns and 235 catches for 4,121 yards.

"Spring ball actually for Skyline starts on Tuesday," Williams said. "So every single year, I come to the state (track) meet and I have that one day to relax. After football, I go to practice for basketball that next day. So once again, I only have that Sunday to relax. And it's been like that for four years."

Does Williams even know how to relax?

"I probably don't," he said, "but I know it won't be too hard."

The rest seems deserving.

Williams swept the three jump titles at the state meet, singling himself out particularly in the triple jump.

In that event, he soared 50 feet, 91/4 inches to set a state all-time best mark. It was a distinction once held by former Husky Aaron Williams, Kasen's father and jumps coach at Skyline.

Aaron Williams became Washington's first high school triple jumper to break the 50-foot barrier for Tacoma's Wilson High School in 1977. His mark of 50 feet, inches is still ranked No. 5 all-time in Washington.

"I wanted to put something out there that I knew wouldn't get touched for a long time," Kasen Williams said. "My dad held the record for 22 years and the record was broken six years ago. And me and my dad kept saying, 'It's got to come back in the family.'"

Williams also won the high jump (6-8) and took the long jump title in dramatic finish, needing a personal-best leap of 24-51/4 on his last attempt to win. Kentwood's BJ Arceneaux had put the pressure on with a jump of 24-2.

"As soon as he jumped it, I just got in a zone," Williams said. "I love coming out here and having competition. I love being pushed."

Williams' passion for track won't end at Skyline.

He also is planning to compete for the Huskies track team.

"The (football) coaching staff knows that I'm not going to be doing it full-time but I'm still going to be out there jumping," Williams said. "I don't know what three jumps. Hopefully I can do all three jumps in college but that's a lot on your body because the triple jump takes a lot out of you. So we'll see what happens."

But his mindset now is on football. After his rest, of course.

In two weeks, he'll begin training to get ready for fall camp.

"I just want to be able to come in there and not feel like I'm behind," Williams said. "That's my goal. To come in there, not necessarily be at the top, just stay in the middle and I want to be able to get through the workouts and feel good after the workouts and not feel pain after the workouts."

But first, a little relaxation.


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