Williamson Excels On, Off The Track

Feb. 15, 2013

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Not only did UNLV track & field senior Kelsey Williamson win the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in the 800m last Friday evening, but she did it in a remarkable amount of time. After an adjustment had been made to the time- due to altitude, it went into the books as 2:06.06, and it ranks as the 10th-best indoor performance this season in NCAA competition and second overall in UNLV's indoor performance list.

The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native, helped the Scarlet & Gray to wins in the both the 800m and 4x400m relays at the 2012 Mountain West Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Besides her accomplishments on the track, she is a business marketing major that has earned Academic All-MW accolades three times in track & field (2010-12) and once in cross country (2011). She has also been named to the USTFCCCA Division I Track & Field Team All-Academic Team three times (2010-12).

UNLVRebels.com interviewed Williamson in topics ranging from how she prepares for a race to the difference between the indoor and outdoor track seasons and her work in the UNLV athletics marketing department.

Question: How do you prepare for a race? When do you get into race mode (like night before, morning of, etc.)?

Answer: I prepare for a race a lot the whole week before. I watch what I eat and when I eat. I dream about how I'm going to execute my race and I ice bath every day. I start to get into race mode the day before a race and the morning of by watching how much extra energy I'm exerting. I listen to calm music to relax me. When I warm up for a race I don't listen to music because you're not allowed to at nationals and we have to always be preparing for nationals.

Q: Similar question to #1, but how do you prepare for a relay race?

A: It's easy to prepare for a relay race because they are fun to run! Usually it's my last event of the day, as well, so I don't have to warm up as much since I've had other races that day and I just get really pumped to give it my all one last time that day.

Q: How did you feel going into Friday night's race? Is it any different than other events?

A: I felt really good and confident going into that race. I had a plan in my head of how I was going to run the race because I know my potential and just needed to get out on the track and believe in my shape and ability. It felt different than the previous races because I knew I felt comfortable in my past two races, so I was determined to run uncomfortable, because no matter what it's going to hurt whether you run it slow or fast.

Q: Do you have any special pre-race rituals, good luck charms?

A: Yes, I ice bath the night before every meet and I usually wear certain earrings and headbands. It may sound corny, but it's just me being superstitious. I also listen to the same 4-5 songs every race day before I warm up.

Q: Looking back, which race is the most favorite one you've run?

A: Last week, has definitely been one of my favorites races, because I ran out in front and led the race the whole time so knowing I can run a personal record on my own without anyone pushing feels good. Yet, winning conference indoor and outdoor last year have also been some of my favorite races!

Q: How do you view the indoor season to the outdoor one?

A: It's very different, especially running on indoor 300m tracks versus indoor 200m ones that are banked. It gets confusing because you're used to running on an outdoor 400m track knowing its only two laps. When I go and run indoor, it's 3-4 laps instead and you're not also sure where the 100m and 200m marks are located. That makes it hard when I'm trying to hit certain times every 100m or 200m in my race. I try not to worry about the difference of indoor and outdoor though.

Q: When did you start working for athletic marketing? What are your responsibilities, things you've done? Is marketing or the like, something you want to get into after graduation?

A: I started interning this past fall semester (2012) working in the office on Rebel Kids Club, Photoshop on campus marketing and helping at games for different sports with promotions and music, etc. I'm majoring in business marketing and would love to stay in sports marketing after college.

Q: How has working with athletic marketing altered your daily life as a student-athlete?

A: It hasn't changed too much. I know my priorities as a student-athlete and I just work around my school and track schedule to help with the marketing department as much as I can right now. It has been a great experience and I have learned so many different things with the behind the scenes stuff at games. It really helps me put into perspective what it would be like working for a college sports team or even a professional sports team after college. I really appreciate the efforts and what goes into marketing and promoting each individual generating athletic team.