Lindsey Williams kept winning races and the attention on her gradually increased.
The Holy Redeemer junior found herself facing strangers carrying pens, notebooks, tape recorders and cameras.
Williams did more than answer their questions after her various cross country victories, she observed at the same time, noting the types of questions that they asked.
The Times Leader Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year had a busy and successful fall and she needed to put her time to good use.
While she was building toward conference and district championships, Williams was also doing her part among a core group of about a dozen students who achieved a milestone during their school days.
The first edition of The Red Crown, the first student newspaper in the school’s history, was published during the cross country season with Williams serving as an editor, creating comics and doing some writing as needed.
“I’ve enjoyed writing for the longest time and I kind of got into it last year,” Williams said. “I told one of my teachers that we should have a school newspaper.”
Then, she went out and helped make it happen.
“It’s really nice to have one,” said Williams, who hopes to study journalism, English or literature in college. “It’s good for free speech.
“It’s good for the student body. It’s interesting.”
A student newspaper was not quite a necessity to spread the word about the accomplishments of Williams and many other Holy Redeemer athletes in recent years. They had already found their way into the mainstream media on a regular basis locally.
This fall continued a successful stretch for the school’s athletic department, including state semifinal appearances for the girls volleyball and field hockey teams and a state medal for Williams just months after the softball team repeated as state champion.
Williams said there have been times at school when she has met other students that she might not otherwise been talking to because of comments made after they were written about in newspapers.
Although she reads other parts of the papers and has a fondness for comics, Williams has found it interesting to learn about the athletic exploits of her classmates.
“There’s a lot of kids from my school that have been in the paper, like field hockey, the tennis team, volleyball,” she said. “It’s interesting to look at how other aspects of the school are doing sportswise.”
Williams did her part to keep up with those accomplishments, combining physical and mental strength.
“She’s strong and she can last the entire 5,000 meters,” Royals coach Paul Hoda said. “She has patience and just a belief in herself that whatever she wants to do, she can do.”
Williams was only beaten to the finish line in a race on the first and last days of the season and never by a runner from the Wyoming Valley Conference.
After taking third in the season-opening Cliff Robbins Invitational, Williams finished first in all six WVC cluster meets to help the Royals go 18-4. She also added the Ed Narkiewicz Conference Championship Meet title before qualifying for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships by winning the District 2 Class 2A title.
Williams finished her season by placing 23rd out of 224 Class 2A runners in Hershey to secure one of the medals that went with a top-25 finish.
“She absolutely had a fantastic season,” Hoda said.
It was the aftermath of the district title, however, that will stick with her as the highlight of the season and the reward for the work a distance runner puts in to prepare for such moments.
As parents of teammates and other celebrants began to settle down, the crowd was dispersing about five to 10 minutes after the race when Hoda found her.
“After all the people had cleared out, my coach, came through the crowd and said ‘I’m so proud of you’.” Williams said. “He literally lifted me into the air and spun me around.
“He was crying and I started crying.”