Cal gymnast Toni Ann Williams finishes emotional meet at Pac-12 Championships
SALT LAKE CITY – Cal freshman phenom Toni-Ann Williams has had an unbelievable season.
She was voted the Pac-12 freshman of the week six times, and at the Feb. 13 meet against Oregon State she scored a 39.700 – the highest ever in the history of Cal's program.
But it hasn't been easy. Diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 14 and competing more this year than she ever has before, Williams is exhausted. When it was announced in February that the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships were moving from Tempe to Salt Lake City, she knew the thin air would be even tougher on her joints.
She suffered several small seizures throughout Session 1 of the event on Saturday at the Huntsman Center, but associate head coach Liz Crandall-Howell said that Williams never once complained or quit. As soon as she finished the vault, her final event of the day, Williams broke into tears, hugging her coaches and teammates.
The cherry on top? Her score of 39.325 placed her in the lead for the all-around competition.