Jarrett Richard hopes to sprint his way into history


Andres Fuentes

Computer information systems junior Jarret Richard sprints through practice drills at East Jefferson High School. Richards has broken numerous records during his time at Loyola and hopes to one day make it to the Hall of Fame.

Rosha'e Gibson

For the past three years, Jarrett Richard has left broken records, top finishes and fierce drive out on the track, never boasting and always being a silent competitor.

However, the computer information systems junior sprinted a long way to become a top athlete in his sport.

From the very beginning, he was always focused on speed.

“Growing up, I played a whole bunch of different sports and (sprinting) was the one, the consistent thing I was always being praised on,” Richard said.

Richard started with track and field in his early days growing up in Houston. However, he faced challenges before hitting the starting line.

“When I first started in middle school, we didn’t really have a track,” Richard said. “That was kind of an issue.”

Despite the lack of a proper track and field program, he learned to thrive once he competed in high school, but the next step in his academic career was another stepping stone for the sprinter as he learned proper form and how to manage his speed.

“(The hardest part) was the workouts, being conditioned and making sure I was able to get to that fitness level and stay there over the course of a season and not drop off during the offseason,” Richard said. “Once I got that, that’s pretty much the hardest thing about it.”

It was toward the end of his high school years he gained the confidence to compete at a high level, even high enough for college athletics.

“Towards my junior year, that’s really when I started working towards being able to run and making sure my times were at a point where I could feasibly run in college,” Richard said. “I had gone through, and everyone was like, ‘you’re so fast.’ That gave me kind of like the extra motivation. I was like ok, maybe I can do this.”

And once he had his chance to don the maroon and gold for another four years of running, the already-seasoned runner felt there were still lessons to learn in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.

“(I’m) always learning, always adapting what I know,” Richard said. “Staying calm, not letting a meet specifically get in my head. Not thinking too much about the competition. Just going out there and running my race and not trying to run somebody else’s.”

Richard fell in line with the Pack, as his efforts in the 200-meter run at the 2018 Southern States Athletic Conference landed his name in Loyola’s record book for the best time at 21.60. He was also a part of the record-breaking 4×100 meter-relay in 2017, earning a time of 43.07.

He also was the 200-meter conference champion in his freshman year, the first sprint conference champion in school history.

Even though Richard is one of the top performers in his sport, he still runs through the minute prep routines.

“(I am always) making sure the fitness level is there because you have to keep your top end speed for so long,” Richard said. “Once I got the conditioning down, once I got the fitness level there, it’s the little things. Making sure my arms are right, I’m standing up tall and all that good stuff.”

As the junior wraps up his third season, he looks toward his final year with the Wolf Pack and the community aspect that the program offers.

“The further up you go, the closer knit it gets because there are fewer and fewer people closer to the top,” Richard said.

With his teammates cheering and pushing him on, Richard believes he has the right mindset to continue to be a fierce competitor.

“Every athlete wants to go somewhere, they want to be the best at what they do. It’s that mindset of ‘I want to be the best, I want to be as good as I possibly can.’ I just carried that mindset throughout and that’s what got me here,” Richard said.

Despite his long track list of achievements, Richard is running for a bigger goal when his career is finally over.

“I want to get better. I know that’s really what drives me so I know that if I keep working and keep putting the time in, I will get better,” Richard said. “(I want to be) remembered for my accomplishments basically and hopefully making the Hall of Fame.”