bleedCrimson.net will be conducting interviews with Aggie women's track and field head coach Orin Richburg throughout the 2008 season as Coach Richburg builds the Aggie track and field program. In this week's interview Coach Richburg talks about the last two meets, Texas Tech and University of Washington, the next two meets and what improvements he's seen from his squad since the beginning of the season
bc.net: Since the last time we talked it was announced that you were able to get Meaghan Gregory added to your staff.
Orin Richburg: Yes. That allows her to be able to do a lot more office work in terms of recruiting because volunteer coaches can't make any calls to recruits and things like that.
bleedCrimson.net: Can you talk a little bit about your last two meets at Texas Tech and at Washington?
OR: We took a large number to Texas Tech and had a pretty good performance there. Each week the kids are getting a little bit better in terms of what we're trying to do. They had some pretty good marks overall. Leah Benton one of our sprinters that redshirted last year and is a freshman, she was the Arizona state champ, she ran really well. We were able to get a dash off of her in a 4x4 leg. Some of the other young ladies did a real nice job. So each week we're making a little progress in some of the things we're trying to do here at the university, just making sure the young ladies understand that each week you do the things in training and each week you go out to the competition and try to duplicate what you've done in training. If we can do that, then that makes us a little bit better.
We went to Texas Tech, that was a pretty good meet. We took a large group, basically gave everybody an opportunity to perform. We're getting a little better each week in terms of our performances, getting a little more consistent and little more confidence in what we're doing.
This past weekend we took eight kids up to Washington. Devin Brooks tied the school record in the 60m hurdle. She's already broken the school record in the 55m hurdles. She ran a 8.73 to get 7th in the race at UW against some of the PAC-10 schools, some of the SEC schools and some of the Big 12 schools.
Jordan Veney threw 43.9 in the shotput for 6th place, also threw 49 plus in the weight.
Randi Grimes also had a pretty good weight throw.
Leah Benton one of our sprinters ran a 25.22 out of Lane 1 in the 200m and was 4th in the 200 which put her in 4th place in our all time Top list indoors for 200m. She also ran real well in the short dash.
Christine Hererra ran 18:06 in the 5000 which put her 3rd on our all-time list.
Ingrid Flores ran 18:23 in the 5000 which was a pretty good performance.
Overall the young ladies we took up to Washington did a nice job. Next year if we decided to go to that meet we hope to have a few more people. It's an invitational meet and you submit your people in and they get invited in. We don't mind taking a small group but we're trying to get some of our kids exposed to some of the things that we're trying to do in the program and let them know that we're moving ourselves up to a higher level of expectation. So when we do come to the WAC schools we can go in and do a good job against the people we have to live with for the year in the conference championship.
bc.net: This weekend you travel to Colorado Springs, what can you tell us about that meet?
OR: We're taking 25 young ladies up to Colorado Springs. Because of the altitude being 7000 feet, we're probably only going to go up to the mile with our long distance kids. Not wanting to go up and run in the altitude up there, we run in the altitude here but going up to 7000 feet, we'll probably run up to the mile. So we'll have a few of our distance kids run in the mile and the 800m runners will probably drop them back down in the 400m 4x4 relay for the work. So we're taking a big group up, letting the ladies do their normal events, we'll do as much as we can in the short dashes and hurdles and the 400 and the relay. Our field people will be in the shot and the weight. We're taking a group of 25 athletes and hope that we can go up and do a pretty good job. We'll have Air Force, Colorado and Colorado State and a few other teams will be there so we'll get a chance to see some teams that we don't normally see in our conference but it'll give a good indication of the things we need to do to be successful against teams outside our conference as well as the teams inside our conference.
bc.net: The following week you head out to Flagstaff for another meet, what can you tell us about that meet?
OR: It'll be the same thing, we're going to bus up to Flagstaff, we're going to fly to COlorado Springs, that'll give us the last indication in term os the placement of our people at the conference [championship] meet. Kids that can double up, you're going to try to put them in a situation that will allow them to be successful at the conference meet. Let's say we have a double kid in middle distance and distance and we feel they got a better shot at being a single back we'll go there. But some of the kids will double up in their particular events at the conference so we'll get a chance to place kids in some events we potentially hope to run them in at the conference. That'll give us a good indication of how we would place our people at the conference where we have the best chance of scoring points and getting as many points as we can. Because this is a championship and when we go into a championship meet we want to make sure we have our people placed in the right events and the things that we feel they can be successful at.
When we go to Flagstaff we'll get a last look so that in our minds as coaches we can go ahead and place our people in the events that we think they can have a pretty good chance of scoring at the conference meet. That Flagstaff meet will be a meet that will be an indicator to us in terms of placement and where we enter our kids, if they have more than one possibility, what is the best possibility to for them to score at the conference meet. It gives us a last chance to evaluate our people in terms of events we would run them at the conference.
bc.net: What kinds of improvement or strides have they been making since the beginning of the season and what kind of improvement are you looking to get from them in the next two weeks before the conference championship?
OR: If you're looking at what we've done so far in the first three weeks with the two meets at Texas Tech and the meet at Washington from what we've done in the past in our Top 10 lists we've had 32 young ladies break into that Top 10 at some time or level in their particular event. That means that what we've done in the past, our Top 10 ranking at the university in each event, the 55 meters, the hurdles, the 3000 and the 5000, we've had young ladies in different events, 32 different times make marks that would pop into our Top 10 university list in terms of our indoor program.
We're making some strides, we still have a long way to go in terms of some of the things we're trying to do. But if it's any indication of where we are, we're moving into the right direction in terms of what we're tying to do as a coaching staff of getting our young ladies to understand that each week we want to get a little better. Our Top 10 list is a decent list and we've had 32 marks pop into that Top 10 list so if that is any indication of what we've done in the past as a university and with our program here, our young ladies that are returning from last year, we brought in three young ladies this year, in terms of our recruits and then some of the others that Coach Crawford was able to bring in, right now we're moving along in the right direction in terms of what the university program has been in existence in terms of our Top 10 list. So we've got young ladies popping into that and we're hoping that we can continue to make those improvements and that gives them confidence and lets them know they can be very successful here at the university and in the conference.