MarissaMarissa Williams is a cross country and track athlete at the University of California at Berkeley. Her major accomplishments season-by-season are listed below.

University of California-Berkeley


Marissa got a late start to her junior cross country season due to a preseason injury, but still ran a 6K personal record of 19:30.4 at the Pac-12 Championships. Her place at the NCAA West Regional helped Cal qualify for the Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. Marissa was the 3rd Cal finisher at the NCAA Championships, helping Cal achieve a national ranking of 22nd for the 2017 cross country season.


Marissa opened her sophomore cross-country season by finishing 6th at the USF Invitational. At the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, she ran a 5K PR of 16:44.7. Marissa was the second Cal finisher at the Pac-12 Championships. She ended the season by competing at the NCAA West Regionals.

In her sophomore track season, Marissa won the 3000 meters at the California Outdoor Opener. During the season, Marissa set new PRs in the 1500 meters (4:19.77),  3000 meters (9:21.65), and the 5000 meters (16:96.86). Her 1500 meters and 5000 meters times rank as the 8th fastest all-time at Cal, and her 3000 meters time ranks as the 9th fastest. Marissa qualified for the NCAA West Regionals in both the 1500 meters and 5000 meters. At the NCAA West Regionals, Marissa ran the 5000 meters. Marissa also earned honorable mention for the Pac-12 All-Academic track and field teams.


Marissa made her college cross country debut at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational, where she finished 12th. She followed up that performance by being the first Cal finisher at the NCAA Pre-Nationals. Marissa’s 13th place finish at the Pac-12 Championships earned her All-Pac-12 honors. Marissa finished her freshman season by running in the NCAA Western Regionals.

In her freshman track season, Marissa won the 1500 meters at the California Outdoor Opener. She also won the 5000 meters at the Pac-12 /Big Ten Invitational. In the Pac-12 Championships, Marissa finished 6th in the 5000 meters. Marissa set new PRs in the 1500 meters (4:24.74), 3000 meters(9:30.69) and the 5000 meters(16:19.35). Her 5000 meters time ranks as the 10th fastest all-time at Cal and qualified her for the NCAA West Regionals, where she finished 17th..

Palisades Charter High School


In her senior cross country season, Marissa set a senior race course record of 15:59.8 at the Ventura Seaside Invitational, set a new course record of 16:07.21 at the Bell Gardens Invitational, and broke her own course record at Pierce College, running 16:33.1 on her way to winning her third consecutive LA City Section championship. After the race, City Section Assistant Commissioner Vicky Lagos recited Marissa’s many accomplishments and proclaimed her “the greatest distance runner in City history.” Marissa also set a 5K PR and City Section record by running 17:02 en route to another second-place finish at state. Marissa concluded her high school cross country career with a second appearance at the Nike Cross Nationals, where she finished thirteenth with a time of 17:45. Marissa signed a letter of intent to compete in cross country and track at the University of California at Berkeley.

In her senior track season, Marissa improved her PRs in the 1600 meters to 4:39.88, the mile to 4:49.23, and the 3200 meters to 10:20.35. She also became the first runner in L.A. City Section history to win the 1600 and 3200 meter events four years in a row. Marissa finished her high school career as the greatest distance runner in City Section history with an unprecedented nine titles along with records in the 1600 and 3200 meters. At state, Marissa won two medals, finishing second in the 1600 meters and third in the 3200 meters.


Marissa’s junior cross country season highlights include a 16:20 PR at the Cross Country Classic, repeating as L.A. City Champion, a second-place finish at state, and a 24th place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.

As a junior, Marissa improved her track PRs in the 800 meters to 2:15.75 and the 3200 meters to 10:25.03. She also became the first female in L.A. City Section Finals history to win the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter events. At state, Marissa finished seventh in the 1600 meters, after running a season best 4:52.32 in the prelims, and fourteenth in the 3200 meters.


As a sophomore, Marissa set a Los Angeles city cross countrry course record of 16:37 at Pierce College, won the Los Angeles City Section Championship, won the Foot Locker West Regional, and was the first California finisher at the Foot Locker Cross Country Girls National Championship race.

In her sophomore track season, Marissa broke two thirty-year-old L.A. City Section records in the 1600 meters and 3200 meters with times of 4:56.60 and 10:37.33, respectively. At state, Marissa finished ninth in the 1600 meters and eighth in the 3200 meters.


In her high school freshman cross country season, Marissa won the Weisenburger Invitational varsity race, placed second at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic Girls Freshman Race and finished sixth in her first Los Angeles City Section finals race.

As a high school freshman track runner, Marissa became the only freshman 1600 meters and 3200 meters City Champion in Los Angeles City Section history

For more details about Marissa’s high school career, see her High School Career highlights page.


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