Name: Dylan Richardson
Fall Sport: Cross Country
Position: No. 5/6 Runner; Captain
Years on Varsity: 3 years
Height & Weight: 5’7”/140 lbs.
Experience: 4 years (began running track and field in ninth grade)
Favorite Subjects: Richardson, like so many of the RO’s Official Athletes of the Week, is extremely studious and takes his schooling very seriously. Enrolled in Richmond Senior High School’s dual-enrollment program, Richardson attends classes at both the high school and Richmond Community College.
Currently, Richardson carries a 4.28 GPA, and takes two classes at RSHS (English and Strength and Conditioning). At RCC, he’s enrolled in freshman math, history and English classes, and says he is glad to be able to get a jump start on his general education courses while still a senior in high school.
RSHS Sports: Currently, cross country is the only sport Richardson participates in. However, he did start his running career with the track and field team as a freshman, and also ran his sophomore year. Richardson expressed interest in trying out again this year for track in the spring.
RSHS Extracurricular Activities: Richardson is active within RSHS and the community through volunteering. This past summer, he enjoyed volunteering at the Richmond County Animal Shelter, where he and several friends offered their time to assist the shelter’s animals.
Also over the summer, Richardson volunteered to help teach a 3-D printing class at RCC. The class held for local fifth and sixth grade students, and Richardson taught them how 3-D printing works, which is an area of study he’s interested in. While in ninth and 10th grade, Richardson was also a part of RSHS’ National Beta Club. He has been nominated for the National Honors Society, too.
Hobbies: Richardson stays busy with school work, but does enjoy playing pickup basketball with his friends during his down time. He also likes to hang out with his friends. One of Richardson’s more interesting hobbies is attending concerts, as he noted that he attends them regularly enough to consider them a hobby. As heavy metal is his favorite genre of music, he’s been able to see his favorite band, Slipknot, in concert and says he enjoys the entertainment aspect of the shows.
College Aspirations: With college application time currently in full swing, Richardson already has a head start by knocking out some courses at RCC. He’s considering a career in mechatronics (which involves things like 3-D printing) or computer engineering.
Both programs are commendable choices, as Richardson would like to pursue his passion for computers and technology. He’s looking at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Western Carolina University as two possibilities. Richardson hasn’t ruled out running cross country in college, and says he’s considering trying out during his freshman year.
Mentor: When asked who his biggest mentor is, he couldn’t name just one person. First, he wanted to recognize his mother Susan Brigman. Richardson noted that she has always motivated him to finish anything he’s involved in and is a great support system to help him “get through things.”
Richardson also wants to recognize Jeff Epps and Chad Osborne, both of whom he credits for helping get his interest in computers and engineering started. He also sees his coach, Reggie Miller, as a mentor who has “helped pushed me to be a better runner.”
Player of the Week Stats: As cross country is a team sport that relies on the individual finishes of runners, Richardson has solidified his place in helping the Raiders be successful. During Saturday’s meet at the Smithfield-Selma High School Invitational, Richardson finished fourth on the team.
His best individual finish on the season came on September 12, when he finished seventh overall in a meet at Lumberton. Though he’d like to improve his time, Richardson averages a 22-minute pace during the 3.1-mile race.
What’s are you doing to prepare for the SAC conference championship meet on October 21?
“I’m really just trying to not overthink things,” Richardson said. “And of course, I just want to do the best I can when I race in the championship meet.
“To prepare, I’m just coming to practice and doing what I’m asked to do,” Richardson added. “Some days we do speed work and sprints, while other days we run hills and run more distance. All of this training will help our team in the meet.”
What’s the most challenging/most rewarding part of running cross country for Richmond?
“Running hills in practice and meets is definitely challenging,” Richardson said. “Short, steep hills aren’t bad, but rolling hills that flatten out before climbing another one is tough. Pinecrest’s course is like that and it challenges me to control my pace and breathing more.
“The most rewarding thing for me is being able to run and place well in meets,” Richardson noted. “When I run to the best of my ability, I’m able to help my team succeed. And I like being able to do that.”
Coach’s Corner: Richmond head coach Reggie Miller had a lot of great things to say about Richardson, and nominated him as the Official Richmond County Athlete of the Week for several reasons. The biggest of which being Richardson’s willingness to do whatever it takes to get better.
“Dylan is a great runner and comes to practice every day in hopes of getting better,” Miller said. “He is always willing to do what I ask him to do and he’s shown improvement since his first season as a sophomore.”
“I like to call Dylan the ‘silent assassin’,” Miller said laughing. “He’s pretty quiet, but he shows his dedication through hard work and tough training. He’s always the first one to practice and is a senior leader on our team who leads by example on and off the course.”
Look for Richardson on the Richmond Observer’s flagship news program Live at 5, as he’ll be in studio for Wednesday’s edition.