Former Granger shines for Columbus State
By Kevin Eckleberry
COLUMBUS – He went to Columbus State to play baseball, but he ended up making his mark in another sport.
The Columbus State men’s track and field team enjoyed the most successful season in school history, and former LaGrange Granger Caleb Williams was a big reason why.
Williams, who originally went to the school on a baseball scholarship, was a member of Columbus State’s outstanding 400-meter relay team that was named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II All-American team.
Those same four men were also all-Southeast Region selections.
The team of Williams, Jalen Tolbert, Nate Blackmon and Xavier Matthews enjoyed a sensational spring, and they broke the school record in the 400 relay at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Bradenton with a time of 40.07 seconds.
The team set that record in the preliminary race, but it had a miscue on an exchange in the finals.
Still, the relay team finished in the top eight by reaching the finals, and it had the third fastest time in the preliminary race.
In the Peach Belt Conference championship, the relay team won the championship with a time of 40.48 seconds.
Williams also excelled in the 200-meter dash, and he finished second in the Peach Belt championship with a personal-best time of 21.39 seconds.
In the 100-meter dash, Williams had a number of high finishes, and he placed first in the Cougar Classic in Columbus with a time of 10.83 seconds.
After excelling as a baseball player at LaGrange High, Williams signed with Columbus State, and he was red-shirted in 2013.
Williams was a part-time player in 2014 and 2015 before he decided to join the track team.