Cherish Richardson probably will have a lot of work ahead of her when she begins her track and cross country career at Gardner-Webb University.
But it won't be anything new. In fact, her schedule might get lighter.
The Greenbrier senior signed Tuesday to run track and cross country for Gardner-Webb. As a Wolfpack athlete, she'd run cross country in the fall, play basketball in the winter and run track in the spring. The seasons and the workouts often overlapped.
"That's demanding," Wolfpack track coach Kati Smallwood said. "Not a day went by where she wasn't at some practice."
Smallwood had tried to get Richardson to run track since she started running cross country as a freshman. Richardson finally obliged last season as a junior and set a school record in the 800-meter. She set a new 800-meter record this year with a time of 2:22.
Not bad for someone hesitant to add another sport.
"(I did it) mainly because my friends were doing it and to stay in shape for cross country," Richardson said.
Richardson qualified for the Class AAAA state meet this year and finished seventh. She was also part of the Wolfpack's 4x400 state-qualifying team.
Richardson said her three-sport schedule wasn't as daunting as it might seem because she didn't play much on the basketball court.
At Gardner-Webb she will focus solely on running.
"Those days are over," Richardson said of competing in three sports. "Track and cross country kept me going."
Richardson received a $12,000 scholarship to run for Gardner-Webb. She said she also was offered a partial scholarship to Spartanburg Methodist and had considered Georgia State. She eventually found Gardner-Webb the best fit.
Richardson said she decided to try to run in college after setting the 800-meter record her junior year.
"I wanted to do it all the time," Richardson said. "I felt accomplished."
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