Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Director Richardson discusses cross country season

The following is a Q&A session with Track and Field and Cross Country Director, Christopher Richardson.

Explain to me as a director, how it was to see the cross country program develop for this season.

This season was kind of interesting, seeing that it was (head coach) Bryan Ramos’ first year. So, it’s always hard when you have to transition training plans and change it up. But, Bryan comes in with a wealth of knowledge. I mean, when he was at Glendale, (it) won multiple state championships, so he knows what it takes, and knows how to bring athletes to a higher caliber.

But, still, it’s tough, because things are different, so he kind of had to get to his own groove. But, to take the group of (women) that we did – a lot of them our freshman – we had one of our leaders leave early to take advantage of a scholarship and we had a lot of veterans last year, so this is a really young group.

Not a lot of them have a lot of experience. So, to take those group of (women) and kind of help them and kind of mentor them to get them to that point was pretty rewarding.

We also brought in Ludi Valdez as an assistant. And she ran at Long Beach State, qualified for NCAA Regionals; when she ran at Orange Coast, she won the state championship multiple times.

To be able to have her and Bryan help those (women), I think we really squeezed all the lemon, all the lemonade out of that one.

It was one of those things where, I don’t think we’re the most talented group, but we peaked at the right time, took advantage of every opportunity and it was pretty cool.

Yeah, and Dan Clauss (the athletic director) kind of insinuated that the women did a lot better than what was expected. What was the factor – you kind of already mentioned the coaches – but what was the factor in getting the athletes to that next level; give me a scope of the entire season.

Well, I would say consistency ended up being the driving force. They needed some level of consistency in their training, not just the leadership. Being able to put it together throughout the entire season, it was really rough in the beginning. The Invitationals, which we would historically win in the past, we were placing low. Getting beat by (Mt. San Antonio College) at our conference championships was kind of a big blow for us.

But, they persevered and were able to come together. It was really more unity that really allowed them to do that. And Bryan played a big part in teaching them on how to come together. Yeah, that was a big deal.

Kind of highlight the men for me now. Ninth place in the state. Tell me about the men.

Again, very young. In the last two years, we’ve lost about 10 distance runners to scholarships. So now this is the new generation. And actually, two guys that were top runners, they never made it to state, they didn’t have a lot of experience in high school running and competing at this level. As sophomores, they were our bottom guys last year. During track, they really came around, and this year for cross country they were our leaders.

We didn’t have a lot of depth on our distance side like we usually did in the past. It’s kind of tough coming off a year where we have a bunch of studs, a bunch of All-Americans, and then now we’re kind of regenerating with all of the freshman. They’re talented, but they’re just new. Going from four miles in high school to being able to run 8ks and such is kind of tough.

You mentioned people kind of moving on and transferring out. Thomas Cheval is one of those people. Tell me his potential, his talent, and how it feels to kind of lose him. Obviously, there’s that feeling of him moving on, but I would imagine it’s bittersweet.

It’s kind of interesting, because Thomas, he had never done a decathalon before. And, so, he was, for lack of a better word, skeptical about it, because it’s something brand new.

And it was a tough road, because training for a decathalon is grueling. For him, to really train and not know what happen; because we only did three decathalons last year, so he put himself into a position to be one of the top in the track and field program in the country. And I think his future is going to be very bright. He’s going to be one of those guys that contest for a spot on the Olympic team, eventually, you know. That’s his outlook, that’s his future.

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About the Contributor
Denny Cristales
Denny Cristales, Editor-in-Chief
Fall 2014

The Big Cheese! I am the Editor-in-Chief Denny Cristales. Just your average, mild-mannered pupusa lover who covers news. I’m not one of those jerks who would ramble on and on about what they do - such as being a former Sports and News Editor, in addition to earning third place at the CCMAs for my sports page design - no, I won’t do that (My staff also conquered the LA Times in local breaking news coverage).  What I will do is tell you to look at talonmarks.com and admire the work we do.

Also, talk to me on Twitter: @Den_Crist , or email me: . I embrace the criticism (Also, I get lonely).

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Director Richardson discusses cross country season