Santa Clara Track at Mt. SAC and Azusa Pacific

April 17, 2009

SCU: How old were you when you first started running track/ cross country?
Richard Zhu: I started competing in track when I was a wee-little tot in local community track and field meets. Wanting to improve my times and my competition, I took up some sprinting and running in middle school. And the rest is history.

SCU: What is your biggest accomplishment in track/ cross country?
RZ: Pertaining to high school, running at the state championship as the first North Medford High School team and bringing a 4th place trophy has to be near the top. But with such a young career at SCU, nothing huge has taken place... yet. But I'll keep you posted.

SCU: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
RZ: Hopefully, to improve, run a little quicker, and make sure I don't get injured.

SCU: What track athlete inspires you the most?
RZ: Hmm... tough question. I can't precisely choose one athlete that has inspired me, but I can name numerous people who have inspired me in my life. From my coaches to my family to my fellow teammates, they provide inspiration to improve and provide support when times get rough. Without them, I wouldn't be anywhere without them. Whenever I step on the line, it's not only my work that is tested, but those who have sacrificed so much to allow me to stand on that line. To cut to the point, those who have inspired me have not only influenced my life on the track, but life in general as well.

SCU: What is your favorite part about track?
RZ: As any teammate would tell you, it's the 4x400 relay; mainly any relay is my favorite part of the track. Running four laps, with four guys, one lap each seems pretty simple to comprehend. But when the meet is on the line, crowds are cheering from every part of the stadium, and the eerie feeling that you are part of something more than four laps begins to take a hold of you. The 4x400 is the most unpredictable event on the track and I've been privileged to run it with a great group of guys. I call it the race with most heart because nerves are at its pinnacle, doubt begins to creep in, and everyone is tired. The team who wants it more will become victorious.

SCU: Did you watch the Olympics in Beijing? Which track athlete impressed you the most?
RZ: Wow, Beijing was amazing to watch. I was almost going to head over last summer to check it out, but plans didn't work out. From the trifecta of Usain Bolt to Kenenisa Bekele's amazing double, each of their appearances were inspiring. Their performances inspired me to compete at a higher level one day too.

SCU: How is the season going for you so far?
RZ: Season is going well, running around the track a couple times as fast as I can. I've improved drastically since high school, but I still want to run faster. Hopefully it will happen.

SCU: If you could run anywhere in the world, where would it be?
RZ: I have run at some amazing places in my life; from Hayward field to the Champs Elysees in France. But if I could I would love to run in the rain forests of South America or somewhere exotic where I could be lost for hours.

SCU: Any other thoughts?
RZ: GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!