Richards Runs Toward Success, Optimism


photo submitted by Marissa Richards

Arely Silva-Lopez, Staff Reporter

Running has been a constant for 17-year-old Senior Marissa Richards since fourth grade. She became interested in running after watching her brother, Bryce Richards, run; that interest then turned into a desire to run competitively.

“My brother has always been my motivation to run,” said Marissa Richards. “He has always pushed me to do better. Not only that, but he has also made me want to be a better person in life.”

Marissa Richards looks up to her brother who graduated from MHS in 2015 because of his dedication to running. She has admired that he has made running one of his life’s focus and has enjoyed watching him set and achieve his running goals.

According to Marissa Richards, he is the perfect representation of hard work, putting 100 percent into his practices, which is why she considers him her role model.

Another role running plays in Marissa Richards’ life is that it offers a distraction from any negative moments, so joining cross country and track and field have been good experiences for her.

“Running has made me a different person,” said Marissa Richards. “It has made me become a positive person.”

Her connection to running helped her sophomore year when she had her appendix removed.  At first, she was frustrated by the situation because she had put in a lot of hard work before the trouble started. She came to appreciate being able to make the situation better by being on the sidelines and cheering on her teammates.

Her time on the team has also led to some strong friendships.

“I’ve known Marissa since my freshman year,” said Kelly Delgado, junior. “We are close friends inside and outside school.”

Marissa Richards and Delgado met each other three years ago in cross country and in track and field and have been good friends ever since.

Delgado described Marissa Richards as kind and genuine, as they have always been supportive of each other, in meets and in real life.

“She leads as a really good example by motivating others to become a better person,” said Delgado.

This has been especially important for Delgado when running.

“Marissa has always been there for me, especially when it comes to races,” said Delgado. “One of the quotes Marissa tells me when I run is to ‘Keep moving; Keep on grinding.”

It’s known in sports that as a team you win together or lose together, and a good quality of sportsmanship is to support each other. Therefore, Marissa Richards is known for pushing her teammates and motivating them to never give up, especially when they get tired during their run or encounter a challenging moment.

“[I have] a new best friend– Marissa has always been there for me,” said Sophomore Andrea Cordova. “I had health issues; Marissa was there for me. Through everything, she has always given me good advice.”

As a result, Cordova had a similar opinion of Marissa Richards to Delgado’s.

“I look up to her,” said Cordova. “She’s a very determined person. Marissa tells me every day is a day to enjoy.”

Cordova considers Marissa Richards a role model because of her hard work and dedication.

“When it comes to races, Marissa always pushes me to continue even if we are both tired,” said Cordova. “Towards the end of the race, she always says, ‘At least we can go eat.’”

Seeing the bright side of the end of a race has helped them to finish races, win or lose.

Cordova also added that she sees how optimistic Marissa Richards is even after hard, tiring moments and that she is able to stay positive no matter the situation she’s in.

These personality traits are what keep Marissa Richards moving forward.

“Running has made me a better person; it has made me a stronger person throughout my life. I think it has played a big role,” Marissa Richards said. “It has pushed me to reach my limits.”