WATERVILLE – Joey Richards was sitting with his teammates at the top of the stands at Drummond Field during the Waterville Invitational on Saturday afternoon, just taking in the sights.

The Winslow High School senior had just set a new school record, with teammates Justin Rogers, Braden Rioux and Renton O’Toole, in the 4×800 meter relay. But he still has work to do.

“I’m pretty happy with how the season has gone so far,” Richards said. “I still have (personal records) I want to break and times I want to meet. The season is still not over yet, I still have stuff to work for.”

Richards, a senior, is enjoying another successful season individually, both in sprinting and jumping events. But his success is also helping a Black Raiders team that has conference and state aspirations.

One of his best performances of the season thus far was in Lewiston on April 26. Richards took first in the 100 dash with a time of 11.57 seconds, besting Skowhegan senior Billy Albertson, who finished second (11.60). Albertson will be attending the University of Maine this fall on a track scholarship.  Richards also took first in the 400 (50.27) at the Lewiston meet.


Richards is continuing his success of a strong indoor track season, where he won a Class B title in the 200 (23.00) and finished second in the 400 (49.67), just behind Miles Burr of Mt. Desert Island (49.49).

“My times for indoor, I was very happy with those, so I was really ready to go into outdoor (season) and break those times,” said Richards, who will continue his track career at the University of Southern Maine.

“He’s got like, 10 (school) records now, he’s probably going to get his 11th during the 400,” Winslow senior Justin Rogers said. “(Richards) is one of my best friends. He’s great on the track, in person. He gets it done in the classroom, too… And he’s just fast, man.”

Richards’ work has impressed Winslow head coach Ken Nadeau, but he still feels there’s more potential to untap before the end of the season.

“I think there’s always more work to do,” Nadeau said. “Our goals for him is to score (points) as much as he can. We’ve been running (Richards) in the relay, but we’ll see how that pans out. The 100 has kind of been a surprise for us, because we kind of didn’t plan on doing it because he’s always been a much higher-volume runner. But when he ran an 11.14 (time), I went, ‘Ok, maybe not.’ But we started him running the 55 (meter dash) indoors and kind of took him out of the 4×800 because we have some other alternatives (for the event) so he can score individually.

“I’m pretty impressed with how he stays healthy, based on what his workload is,” Nadeau continued. “He’s just a good kid, a quiet kid and wants to know what’s going on all the time, (working on) his form. We’ve spent a lot of time on the little things. He’s now at that point where we don’t have to do a lot of correcting.”


Richards was also the final leg of a Class B indoor 4×800 state title team. The 4×800 crew is carrying its success into the spring. On Saturday, the group ran a time of 8:22, which broke the previous school record of 8:27.14, set by Tyler Levasseur, Cory Bezanson, Luke Salvato and Matt Farrell in 2007.

“We had been looking at that 4×800 record for so long,” Richards said. “We were pretty excited to do that. We had a 2:07 split for the first leg, then 2:09 (the second leg), then maybe a 2:05 or 2:04 (in the third leg) and I did 2:00 flat.”

“When you get chances to run relays, like I did today with Joey in the 4×800, obviously you get the feeling we can get the school record here,” Rogers said. “I don’t want to let this guy down, so you want to step up your race. I have to give him the (baton on the relay), I know I’ve got to get it to him so he can win it.”

It’s not just Richards, or the relay team, that is having success on the track. Rogers has done well in the 800 and 1,600. After Richards, sophomore Hassan Hobbi and junior Brody Willette have rounded out Winslow’s sprint contenders. Like Rogers, Rioux has successfully moved between the 800 and distance (1,600, 3,200) events.

The Black Raiders finished third at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Small School Championship last spring, and seventh at the Class C meet. With Richards in the lead – and the final kick – along with a strong supporting cast, it seems there’s confidence that conference, and possibly state success, are possible.

“This year I’m really excited to see how we do at states,” Richards said. “I know, (in the top three teams), it’s going to be us, Orono and Lisbon. It’s going to be tight at states. I’m excited to see how that goes.”

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