March 15, 2012
Cameron Williams: A Feel For Competition
By Sean Catto

Two years ago, Mid Atlantic athlete Cameron Williams was virtually unheard of outside of her small women’s tackle football club in Greensboro, N.C. Her lifelong devotion to athletics did little to merit acclaim. An early career in football and soccer had initiated Williams into the world of competitive sport, and paved the way for her to become one of the strongest players on the field. But it wouldn’t be until several years later that she would discover CrossFit.

Initially, CrossFit appeared to Williams as a means to improve her football game, but it quickly proved to be much more. “CrossFit had that one-on-one competition that you don’t get from team sports,” she says. “I’ve always been competitive, and this was a way for it to be just me.”

Her football conditioning made her no stranger to high-intensity interval and strength training, but it was CrossFit that effectively opened her to a world where her above-average strength could finally achieve its peak potential. “I was always the ‘big girl,’ even though I’m not very ‘big,’” she says. “My biggest strength is being strong.”           

This showed in Open Workout 12.2 when she landed on the worldwide Leaderboard with 106 reps, just three shy of Annie Thorisdottir’s 109.          This year, however, Williams has showed a remarkable versatility. She ratched up a remarkable 447 reps on 12.3 and completed 122 burpees on 12.1. Heading into the fourth workout, Williams is the top-ranked woman in the Mid Atlantic and 9th place worldwide.

It's a big step up from last year. In 2011, Williams finished 9th in the Mid Atlantic in the Open and 7th place at Regionals, missing the Games by 4 spots. This year, if Williams keeps up her current pace, she'll be one of the top women to look out for in the world, not just the Mid Atlantic.

As the leading woman in the Mid Atlantic Region, she finds it humorous that, not more that two years ago, her “Fran” required band-assisted pull-ups. Her secret, she confesses, is that, “competing really helps your game. I have competed three times this year,” she says. “I think that entering in competitions helps a lot, even if you’re unsure of how you’ll do. Putting yourself through three-a-day WODs won’t be as good for you as getting a feel for competition.”

The combination of her rigorous discipline, devoted training both at school and at home, and her firm adherence to the Paleo diet, the Mid Atlantic competition can be assured that the fight toward the CrossFit Games will not be met easily.