By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MEMPHIS — In 2011, a young Kendra Richardson stood on the turf of Southwind High School physically and mentally worn out.
Taking a deep breath, the then freshman made a promise to herself.
“I will make it to State in the future,” she said after coming up short in her last attempt that day in the 100m.
Now a junior, Richardson used the guidance of her Millington Lady Trojan Track coaches, lessons from being a championship point guard in basketball and encouragement from upperclassmen to finally reach her goal.
“I’m real proud of myself,” she said under a cloudy sky on the Memphis Central High School nexturf. “It doesn’t feel real at all. I’m still surprised but I’m glad I made it.
“It took a lot of growth in my mindset,” Richardson added. “I had to get my mind right and make my actions real about going to State and wanting to go to State. That took a lot in my mind to process and just working hard everyday at practice.”
From day one in black and gold, Richardson had speed to run sprints, height to compete in jumping events and the size to endure a race like the 400m.
Now Richardson will get a chance to compete in Murfreesboro in the 400m and High Jump this week. Richardson will try to bring back gold this Thursday on the Middle Tennessee State University track.
Richardson tasted success earlier this year with the Lady Trojan Basketball team. Along side seniors Tori Chestnut, Seymon Taylor, Erin Clark, Treasure Redding and Tiara Caldwell, Richardson was the leader on the floor running point for Head Coach Bruce Marshall.
The Lady Trojans only suffered one league loss on their way toward winning the regular-season and tournament District 14-3A titles.
“Helping them get through made me realize what I need to do before I become a senior and as of right now,” she noted. “So helping them go through their senior year helped me go through my junior year becoming a stronger person. I showed me I need to step up to the plate, it’s my time to shine. Doing all that helped me with track going out there everyday.”
With her mind focused on bringing home a medal, Richardson said she won’t forget to thank those who helped her get to State like the Class of 2013.
“If I can say one thing to them, ‘Thank you and I love you to death,’” she concluded. “If they need anything out there, I’ll be there. And I know if I need anything they’ll be there. We’ll always be close and I would love to thank them for helping me grow.”