Riverview High junior Richie James captured three individual track and field titles at the Sarasota County Championships March 26, at The Out-of-Door Academy.
James won the long jump in 21-04.50 and the triple jump in 42-08. He also won the 400-meter run in 51.36.
James’ 30 points helped lead the boys team to a second-place finish.
James followed up his performance with a first-place finish in the triple jump at the Third Annual Marcus Freeman Invitational March 28, at North Port High.
"It means a lot to me to be a county champion. It shows that hard work pays off in the end. It’s special because I’m a defending champion now.
Of my three titles, I’m most proud of the 400-meter run. I haven’t been doing well in it all year, and I was finally able to pull it off. It built up my confidence.
The 400-meter run is my favorite event. I love that event. It’s exciting. I’ve been doing it a long time. Ever since I started doing track five or six years ago, it’s been my main event. I’m the strongest at it.
I have two goals this year: to reach the state meet — it doesn’t matter how — and to break the school record of 48.2 in the 400-meter-run. I haven’t set a personal record in the 400 yet. I got 50.3 last year, so I have to get to that first.
I’ve always wanted to try the 800-meter run. I’m pretty good at the 400 and think I can keep running. I would want to try it for fun. I stay out of the quick events. That’s just the way my body is made.
In middle school I always was the fastest in the area, so everyone encouraged me to run track. It didn’t go too well (at first). I thought I was a 100-meter-type guy before I turned into a 400-meter-type guy.
I love anchoring. It’s so much fun catching people. "