With apologies to Bruce Springsteen, Kathy Leonard Williams was born (and bred) to run. Her father, Tom, was an outstanding runner and is a member of the Buckley High School Hall of Fame.
Her natural ability was developed under the tutelage of two Hall of Fame coaches, Mike Heneghan and Peter Sarant.
Kathy showed her prowess early when she was the leading point getter for Heneghan’s team at the Junior Olympics at Mount Park in Holyoke in 1974.
Before graduating from Windsor Locks High School in 1977 Kathy put together an impressive career.
Although she participated in a number of sports including swimming, cheerleading, and basketball, Kathy excelled in track and cross country.
Her junior year, Kathy came in 10th in the class M cross country finals, leading the team to a 3rd place finish. Her senior year Kathy was undefeated in the regular season meets and helped the WLHS team to a 6th place finish in the class M Finals.
As good as she was as a cross country runner, when track season came along Kathy dominated the 800 run.
Her junior year Kathy placed first in the CIAC Medium Division at Weaver High. The state championship race was the following week in Ledyard where Kathy placed 4th.
Her Senior year, Kathy placed first in the sectionals and 3rd in the championship.
Kathy continued her sports career at Bates College, where she ran cross country, indoor track and played softball. The record set by her college 4 x 800 meter relay team stood for 25 years.
Kathy and her teammates were the first to have a girls track and cross country program, blazing the trail for future female athletes.
Natural ability and good coaching can only take you so far. Perseverance, teamwork, self- sacrifice, hard work and dedication are the qualities that Kathy feels led her to success, as an athlete and in life.