Richards of Maplewood breaks all records | News, Sports, Jobs

Correspondent Photo/Robert Hayes Maplewood sophomore Caleigh Richards runs with plenty of distance between herself and the rest of the field Thursday night during the 3200 at the Trumbull County Championships in Lakeview.

CORTLAND — Two state cross country championships, a state outdoor track title in the 3200, and Caleigh Richards is just a sophomore.

Tack on a pair of new stadium records Thursday night at the Trumbull County Championships in Lakeview, and Richards has more on his resume than most by the time they graduate from high school.

The biggest key? Never forget who you are.

“This year I kind of tried to get PR in the 1600s and 3200s just to see what I can do and just try to go faster and faster to see how far I can go this season”, said Richards, who set a new 1600 PR Thursday night in 5:01.19. “Just keep trying and training and working hard, I know I can never be proud, I just have to stay humble and give glory to God.”

Running interested Richards at a young age, not necessarily competing but more so running before joining the Rockets high school program in seventh grade and setting the school record for 1,600 that year. .

It was then that Richards realized she could be decent, but she admits she never imagined accomplishing everything she had.

“It was pretty cool because that was my goal for this year – to get that record. It was actually our very last meeting of the season. I was actually really happy that I got that luck because my eighth grade was canceled due to COVID so I didn’t even get a chance,” Richards explained. “I certainly didn’t expect so much success, but I knew during my eighth grade track season that we weren’t having any, I still had to work hard if I wanted to accomplish things at the fall, so that’s what I did.”

Not competing during the indoor season, Richards still has to work through the winter to bridge the gap between fall and spring while having older brother and teammate Caleb Richards, a senior, to help out all winter. year.

“We kind of do different speed workouts just to increase speed, but since I’m more endurance, I also combine it with longer workouts to get both the speed and endurance aspects.” Richards explained.

An average workout is four to five miles, relying more on endurance in the summer to prepare for cross-country.

Last spring, Richards won the Division III 3200 title with a time of 11:07.23. By comparison, she broke Lakeview’s stadium record with a 10:58.62 on Thursday. His personal best is 10:46.

“It was pretty cool to go from cross country to that. I never thought I would accomplish this going into my freshman year, but I’m so grateful,” Richards explained. “I know there’s definitely that pressure there, not from family or anything, but just that I put myself on, because I know I want to accomplish those things again. But I know it’s going to take some work and you never know what can happen because there’s a lot of competition out there.

Often, the worst enemy of a track athlete, besides the stopwatch, is himself. Overcoming this has played a major role in Richards’ success to date, as she already owns the program’s 1600 and 3200 records.

“I just have to keep telling myself I’m strong and I’ve worked hard, and I know I can do it but I just keep pushing,” said Richards. “I’ve had a lot of PR so far, and winter training has definitely helped me this year.”

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