You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to beat Chris Richardson in a race.
Or keep him up late at night.
The elements and time worked against Richardson Friday at the University Interscholastic League Class 4A State Track and Field Meet as the Granbury senior finished ninth in a field of nine in the 400-meter dash.
Rain forced two lengthy delays. The race that was scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. – already a late start for early riser Richardson – didn’t get under way until around 10:30 p.m.
Richardson was closer to being ready for bed than he was set to run the most important race of his life.
“I don’t know about the others (in the race), but I got up early that morning and did my usual stuff,” said Richardson. “I was ready. I had plenty of energy, and then we had that long delay.
“My body just got tired. I’m not making excuses. Our bodies have peaks and lows, and my body had a low.”
Richardson was clocked in 49.61 seconds. Chris Platt of Willis successfully defended his championship by running a 46.64.
“You have that extra burst around the second turn. I didn’t have that all,” said Richardson.
It also didn’t help that Richardson started to come down with something the day before the meet.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve had better days running, but I got to state, and I’m happy with that,” said Richardson.
“And I’m not upset because I lost. I do wish I had gotten a PR (personal record) in my last high school race, and that kind of upsets me.
“But I definitely loved every minute of my senior season. I was just having fun.”
Richardson is the first Granbury boy to reach state in track since Brad Gardner in 2004, finishing fourth in the 300 hurdles. This came on the heels of Richardson not even competing at district as a junior because of a hamstring injury.
Richardson’s senior season included coming back strong from that injury – so strong that he set school records in the 400 and the 200.
Actually, he set a record in the 400 at Mineral Wells, clocking a 48.96. He bested that time in the 4A Region I Meet in Abilene with a second-place time of 48.57.
In addition, Richardson set a school record in the 200 with a time of 21.78 at the Bearcat Relays in Aledo.
“I wouldn’t trade any of it,” said Richardson.
“The longer he gets away from state, the better he’s going to feel about all he did,” said Granbury coach Jodie Scott.
“And he did a LOT.
“We are really going to miss Chris in this program, but they can do something with him in college. He can definitely help a program.”
In addition to his success, Scott said Richardson brought more awareness to the boys track program, a program that enjoyed its most successful season in a long time.
“We’ve had people from the 1950s and ’60s call just to congratulate Chris,” said Scott. “Folks were paying close attention to him.”
Richardson said among the schools he is considering are Tarleton State and Texas Wesleyan.
“Apparently Tarleton needs 400-meter runners, and Texas Wesleyan, their coach approached me at district,” said Richardson. “I do definitely hope to be running for somebody next year, though.”
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