WELLSBORO — Standout senior athlete of the Wellsboro Hornets Austin Richards made the official decision on Thursday, June 25 to continue his running career at Lock Haven University in the upcoming year.
Richards has put together a strong career as a Hornet, and despite an injury that occurred during soccer season, was still able to post the best time of the year for not only the Hornets, but also the entirety of the NTL with a blazing finish of 16:10 which is three seconds better than the next best NTL runner as well as nearly two minutes better than the next best Hornet.
“After looking at the coaches and talking to them and discussing how their teams worked I really was interested in participating in that sport and trying to better at what I can do,” Richards said.
Though one of the best cross country runners in the entire NTL.
Richards was also a game-changer for the track and field team, and despite losing this year’s season, Richards put together an impressive junior year that saw him win the NTL in javelin all while competing as a runner as well.
“That’s tough,” Richards commented on his favorite memory wearing green and white in Wellsboro. “I would probably say winning the NTL last year in javelin was probably my biggest moment. I really enjoyed that and it really helped influence my decision and helped me want to do that in the future.”
Richards was a dual sport athlete in the fall, competing in not only cross country this past season but also was a strong soccer player for Hornets this past season prior to injury. After taking some seasons off to focus on soccer, the cross country team was ecstatic for his return.
“As a middle schooler he was a top runner in the NTL,” coach Karen Hoose said. “I remember vividly watching him run those races, he’s driven. He’s always been a dual sport athlete in the fall and was once again this year but unfortunately got hurt shortly after the season started. But the first race out of the gate, he won it.”
As a runner and thrower, Richards is extremely accomplished in Wellsboro, and those who have worked with him during his time there are more than confident that Richards will be able to compete at a high level when he hits the Lock Haven campus.
“I have no doubt that at Lock Haven he’s going to be the same way,” coach Hoose said. “He’s just a driven, goal oriented kid and I’m excited to see what he accomplishes there.”
With all of his accomplishments as a Hornet, expect Richards to continue to grind to compete on the next level for Lock Haven. When asked about his goals for his next chapter, Richards simply said he just wants to be able to compete at that level.