Monday, April 02, 2012

Catching up with California HS runner, Madison Ricks...

Today we chat with one of the rising stars in the North Coast Section, California HS sophomore, Madison Ricks (picture to the left courtesy of  After a state meet berth last season in the 800m., Madison has already established new personal records this season in the 400, 800 and 1600 distances.  She started the season with a bang in capturing the 1600m. at the East Bay Invitational with an impressive sub 5:10 clocking less than a month after the conclusion of her basketball season.  She followed that up with a wire to wire victory at the Dan Gabor Invitational in the 800m. and won the 400m. at the St. Francis Invitational.  

1) Besides track and field, what other sports have you played?
I have played soccer for 9 years, basketball for 8 years and I played fast pitch softball for 7 years.

2) What led you into competing in track and field?
My 6th grade PE teacher told me I should try track & field after timing me running the mile in class. I have always enjoyed running in all of the sports that I play.

3) What was the first success that you remember in the sport?
My first year of track in 7th grade I took second in the Oakland Dioceses Championships for CYO track.

4) Tell us a little about your freshman track season. What were some of your highlights?
It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed surprising a lot of people in my races. My highlights were placing 1st in EBAL championships 800m, helping my team remain undefeated for the 3rd year in a row, placing 2nd in The NCS Meet of Champions 800m at UC Berkeley, setting a new school record for the 800m, and qualifying for state as a freshman.

5) You qualified for the CA state track meet by finishing in 2nd place at the NCS MOC in the 800m. What did you learn from that first state meet experience that will help you this year?
I learned that I need to handle my nerves so that it doesn't affect my performance. I also learned what goals to set for myself in the coming years. I'm grateful for the experience at just 14 years old.

6) What did you do differently this winter preparing for this current track season?
I really didn't do anything differently this winter because my preparation was playing on our Cal High Women's Varsity Basketball team. I went straight from basketball to track a little late in the pre season.

7) What are your current PRs? 400? 800? 1600?
400m - 58.21, 800m - 2:13.55, 1600m - 5:06.88.

8) Favorite distance? Favorite invitational? Favorite opponent (s)? Favorite workout? Favorite run?
My favorite distance is the 800m. My favorite invitational is the Dan Gabor Distance Festival because it highlights the 800m race and it pays tribute to 2 great local 800m athletes who have passed away. My favorite workout is when we do 8 hill repeats. My favorite run is a light trail run with my teammates.

9) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you in the past two years.
Coach Dave (Hill) is extremely knowledgable, supportive, and I trust him completely to help me learn about the sport and continue to improve. I know that if I can do what he tells me to, that he will help me reach my goals. I am really thankful for such a great coach.

10) What meets and invitationals are you looking forward to attending the rest of this season?
I am most looking forward to the opportunity to compete in the Arcadia Invitational 800m race with so many top athletes. I am also looking forward to the Sacramento Meet of Champions.

11) Now that you are an experienced sophomore, what advice would you give a freshman as they head toward the end of the season and how to better handle that part of the season?
I would advise freshmen to try to learn something from every race, have confidence in your abilities and training, try to remain positive, and focus on longterm improvement.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
I would like to mention how thankful I am for my family's support, and my amazing teammates (Molly, Charlene, Heather, Kathy) who push me to be better and are always there for me. Thank you for this opportunity!

Thank you very much for your time Madison!  AJC

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