The championships are being held at the Outdoor Sports Complex in Marion, Ind., and conclude Saturday.
Williams, a sophomore, ran a time of 1:54.20, which placed him fourth in his nine-man heat. Though the time wasn't good enough to earn a top three finish and an automatic qualifier, it was good enough to earn one of six wild-card spots in tomorrow's semifinals.
His time was 16th overall out of the 18 semifinal qualifiers and was well below his GSAC Championship time of 1:54.20 back in April.
The semifinals are slated for 3:35 (CDT).
Two other Lancers ran in their qualifying heats of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Naomi Van Setten ran an 11:41.93 in her first-ever outdoor championships, finishing eighth in her heat and 25th overall. She did not qualify. Sergio Rodriguez ran a 10:00.17 and also didn't qualify, finishing last in his heat.
Live results of every event at the national championships are available at the link above.