Interview, Head Coach of a Top U.S. HS T&F Team
MileSplit national will be periodically publishing standard written interviews with the head coaches of many of the top U.S. high school track and field teams. The first interview is with Eric Richardson, veteran coach of the girls team at Chandler HS, Chandler, Arizona. Send nominations (team, head coach, email address) of other “top U.S. T&F teams” to email@example.com.
School, location (city, state) – Chandler High School, Chandler, Arizona
Team (boys, girls, both) – Girls
Head Coach – Eric Richardson, 15th year
Assistant Coaches – Russell Scott, Ted Williams, Michelle Flannigan, Mike Burgess, Kevin Peterman
Strongest Events – Sprints, Hurdles, Jumps and Throws
Top (national level) athletes; name, grade, events/PR’s:
* Jasmine Todd, 12; long jump - 20’1”, triple jump - 41’5”, 100m - 11.64, 200m - 24.34
* Ky Westbrook, 10; 100m - 11.65, 200m - 24.09, shot put - 40’
* Sherrelle Jordan 11; 100m hurdles - 14.11
* Makaila Flannigan 11; 100m hurdles -14.38, 300m hurdles – 43.42, long jump - 19’
* Bianca Finn 10; shot put - 42’, discus – 120’
Top (national level) relay teams; events, PR’s –
* 4 x 100 - 46.27
* 4 x 400 - 3:50.83
Key(s) to the success of your team – The keys to success for our program is the same as any and all great programs. DISCIPLINE, DETERMINATION, DRIVE AND DEDICATION. Also, an undying belief in our system and the way we approach practice. It takes a lot of mental toughness to get through our practices and if you bring a healthy work ethic to practices those things translate to the meet. Additionally, our kids are religiously committed to the weight room. Match that with great leadership and the recipe for greatness is set. Simply add water and stir.
Your favorite meet(s) – Our favorite meets are the Chandler Rotary, Sun Angel Classic and for obvious reasons the State Championships. However, we would like to get to a financial position where we can take the team to some of the larger out of state meets, such as Arcadia, Texas Relays and New Balance.
Teams you most enjoy competing against – The teams we love to compete against are Long Beach Poly (nationally) and Desert Vista (locally). Poly has had the best female program in the country for the better part of 10 years. If you want to be in the same conversation with the best you need to compete and compete well against the best. I think we have accomplished that over the last 3 years or so. Desert Vista is a personal issue. They have always been considered to be one of the best teams in Arizona and they have some state titles to backup that claim. However, as in all rivalries there is DEEP SEATED DISTAIN AND DISLIKE FOR THEM. THEY ARE DEFINITELY A MOTIVATIONAL TOOL FOR US.
Team goals for the season – As far as goals go we don’t have many:
1. Qualify at least 30 girls for the state championships.
2. Perform well in all major competitions
3. “COMPETE AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT.”