Hannah Richardson is one of four girls who contributed to B-CC's 3A state title this indoor season. She scored 10 individual points at the meet by placing fifth in the 500-meter run and second in the 800-meter run with a personal best time of 2:23.38. She anchored her 4x800 relay to the 3A state title and a season best time of 9:34.78 at Nike Indoor Nationals. With the departure of her teammate Alex Doll to the soccer fields this spring, Richardson will be leaned on as B-CC's lead mid-distance runner. Considering her rate of improvement this year, this should not be a problem for the gregarious B-CC junior. She describes what it is like to be a state champion when she least expected it and what she hopes to accomplish this season.
MoCoRunning: Hey Hannah. How is spring break going for you?
Richardson: Hey! My spring break is going really well, very chill. Iím staying here and... you know... keeping up with the running workouts. I hope it gets warmer, because Iím not a big fan of the cold, and I need to work on my tan. Seriously, Paige is in the Caribbean, so I gotta keep up.
MoCoRunning: This indoor season was a season to remember for you and your teammates. Now that youíve had some time to let it sink in, what is it like to be a state champion?
Richardson: Being a state champion is super cool. I love it! Itís my first state title in any high school sport or event, and it is still sinking in. We are now the real deal! It makes every hard work out and long run worth it. I am more motivated now, because I want to go back to states in outdoor. Being state champion also gives you so much street cred. For example, if someone makes a joke about how track is lame or whatever, you can just say, ďWho won states, what?Ē I mean, if that ever happened, thatís what I would do. Just kidding. After winning the 4x8, everything fell into place. We all pushed hard to run fast and place well. Itís definitely something that I will never forget.
MoCoRunning: Before this season, you were a pretty good runner. You were just a step behind the impact runners in the county. This year you are anchoring your 4x8 to a state title and placing 2nd in the state in the 800. What has been the difference for you this year?
Richardson: Starting back in middle school, I used to run the mile. I was really stupid and competitive and would try and sprint to the front at the beginning of each lap, haha. I mean it worked sometimes. I also ran the 400, but I hadnít figured out what kind of runner I wanted to be. Then, when I started high school, I had decided that the mile was no longer my race and I would focus on the 400. Our 4x4 was actually pretty decent, and I tried to convince my coach that I was a sprinter. But he knew better and sent me on the long distance runs, and put me in the 800. After that there was no turning back, even when I came to BCC and told Coach Young that I ran the 200 and 400, but Iím a really bad liar, and that didnít last long. He kept saying you're gonna run the 800. So at the end of outdoor last year, it clicked. Not just running, but the team itself.
This was my first indoor season, because I played basketball the past two years. But this time around I was ready to work hard at running. I want to run fast and Iím much more focused. Iíve even started buying running shorts, but I havenít switched to just spandex yet, Iím not that cool, haha. What probably made the biggest difference was not only identifying myself as a ďmiddle distancerĒ and becoming a more focused runner, but also the team spirit. Addie, Alex, Paige and I became really good friends. We pushed each other in work outs, made jokes about how Paige just ate a burrito, and how Alex is slacking, (more like being a beast). I run with them almost everyday, and how close we are has pushed me to do my best.
MoCoRunning: Your team bonds really showed this winter. Who knew you would be anchoring your team to 9:34 in the 4x8 at Nike Indoor Nationals. You had a really nice surge at the end to make up a lot of ground and nearly win your heat. What was your split on that leg and how were you feeling?
Richardson: Nationals was the coolest race/meet. Every athlete there is actually amazing at life. I got goose bumps watching Alexís mile, like at states, when we watched Wil Zahorodny run a 1:04 in the 500. Although part of that might be because I had just run and I was a little out of it, haha.
My split in the 4x8 was about a 2:24, which is pretty close to my PR in the 800. I felt really good and strong. The intensity of being at nationals was crazy. They had music playing during the race, and while I was waiting to run/cheering, I was getting so pumped. The second I got the baton, all I wanted to do was catch that girl. I ran hard the first two laps, and I could tell she had slowed down, but I still wasnít catching up. As soon as the third lap ended, I started my kick. I knew I had it. As I came around that last turn, the crowd and the intensity made me go even faster. Whenever I have a good kick, I smile, because I know that Iíve got it. I love how the race is really never over until the end. Iím so proud of our team! It is the best feeling in the world.
MoCoRunning: That 4x8 anchor leg looked like a nice hint of what we will see from you this spring. What are you trying to accomplish individually this spring?
Richardson: Individually, I want to continue to drop time in my 800. My goal is to hopefully be sub 2:20 by the end of the season and to qualify for states. I also want to improve in the 400, and beat my PR of 59 and I want to run in the Katie Jenkins Quadrathalon. And, as much as I hate to admit it, (Young will love this), I want to get back into the mile. The laps tend to intimidate me. I like the 400 and 800 because I can quickly say, "this is my last lap, time to kick." The mile is different, it is much longer and sometimes I feel like I unnecessarily freak myself out. Then, once I start running, Iím like, "what is wrong with me? I can do this." Although I probably wonít run it regularly, I would like to work at pacing and basically cross train for the 400 and 800.
MoCoRunning: So you are big on soccer, right? I hope you at least play a position where you run a lot. What else do you like to do besides soccer and track?
Richardson: Yeah, I guess I am, haha. Iíve played it the most consistently out of all my sports. When I was younger, I tried baseball, gymnastics, and swimming, but I always came back to soccer. I play all year round, and itís a lot of fun. I play forward or midfield, which means lots of running and shooting. I like it a lot. Whatís funny is, when I was younger, I wasnít that good at soccer. I just liked to run around, and sometimes I would just run past the ball. I had to stop when I started playing travel soccer, because thatís not really good to do. Besides other sports, I love to be outside, hang out with my friends, watch Greyís Anatomy (when it was on), and I love to sail in the summer.
MoCoRunning: It looks like you started high school at Stone Ridge, not exactly a track powerhouse and probably not a great place to meet boys (it is an all-girls school). Is it safe to say that you transferred because of the B-CC boys' track team?
Richardson: Duh! haha. The track boys are so good looking and funny I just had to switch schools! I mean, even though we, the girls team, are a little jealous they got sweet new uniforms and didnít include us and the fact that they wear shorter shorts than most girlsÖhaha just kidding, I love the track boys, theyíre awesome! One of the best parts about BCC track is that both the boysí and girlsí teams are close, and we all support each other. We are one big family.
The track boys know a lot about running and have helped us to become smarter runners. They play a big leadership role to the BCC team as a whole. We have Dylan, who is good luck, and Prevost, who gets teased by little kids. James is really good at singing. Gil likes to throw parties at school, and Roger likes to wear shants. Kyle wears lots of black and only eats wheat. Walter is a halo champion. Finkís favorite color is neon yellow and DK has a tattoo. Elias and Bowie are my track role models, and I love when they come back and visit!
One of the reasons we are becoming so successful is everyone is such good friends, including our coaches. The atmosphere is very friendly and challenging. As much as track is an individual sport, itís also a team sport. As a team, we laugh, work hard, and push each other to do our best.