Success is Measured by the Journey
Feb. 2, 2005
Senior Mitch Richeson has won many awards in his three-plus seasons on the Ohio State men's swimming and diving team, but that isn't why he considers his collegiate career to be a success. Richeson sees the true reward in how he achieved that success.
The 2003-04 Big Ten Conference Diver of the Year, Richeson is also the reigning conference champion at 3-meters and competed in the U.S. Olympic team trials this past summer at the 2004 Speedo American Cup where he finished fifth overall. Despite this success the Indianapolis native doesn't consider this achievement to be his biggest triumph.
"(Coach) Vince (Panzano) has tried to instill in me from day one that we only have so much time in this sport and my success in the sport won't be measured by the titles or records I own, but by the journey I took along the way." Richeson Said.
Richeson's latest accolade was being tabbed as Big Ten Conference Diver of the Week on February 1st after he helped Ohio State to a 1-1 team record the week before. In those victories he scored a season high 361.87 off the 1-meter board to claim the event title and earned a third place finish on the 3-meter board (315.37). Against Michigan he swept the competition he won with scores of 381.52 and 329.40 on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, respectively. Nevertheless, the recognition has been welcomed by the senior who, when he sits back and looks at his college career, is at awe.
"It has been way more than I expected. I had more success last year then I ever hoped for and conquered goals I dreamed about as a little kid" added Richeson. "To put it frankly, my college career has been amazing. I have put in countless hours of work but have gotten every bit back. There have been the occasional ups and downs as everyone can expect, but the journey has added a dimension to my life I will never forget."
This season, Richeson has put more time into becoming a more complete athlete and refining his performance, which has made his senior campaign a challenge.
"This season started very optimistically coming off last season. We made some critical changes to my diving style first off which, consequently, took a couple months to get used to. In fact I am still working on them. These past couple months have been very hard mentally to get through but it will all pay off in the end."
The training that Richeson goes through to compete, as well as his academic career, has provided the computer science engineering major with tools that he uses to handle pressure and to relax.
"I feel the most pressure when I go into something I don't feel ready for," explained Richeson. "Either in diving or school, I try to be as prepared as I can be and see where it takes me. During a competition, I always close my eyes and take a deep breath before each dive. It helps me block out all the noise of a meet and keep my body relaxed."
More important to Richeson is the work he puts in the classroom where he is at the top of his class in an extremely difficult field of study.
"I work hard in the pool, but I work just as hard in the classroom," Richeson said. "I have kept at strong GPA of 3.9 or better throughout college and I am really proud of that."
The time Richeson has put in has brought him to the top of his sport amongst his peers and has him primed to take the next step when his collegiate career is finished - but he's not done being a student athlete just yet.
"I really want to win another Big Ten title and have another good performance at NCAA," added Richeson. "It was exhilarating last year and I want to end my college career with that. Afterwards I am going to start graduate school next year and will keep training and looking towards the Beijing Olympics."
At the Big Ten Conference championships in Minneapolis this month, Richeson will be put to the test to defend his conference crown, and will try and bring home some more hardware. But it won't be the number of trophies that he adds to his display case that count; it will be the journey from Columbus to Minneapolis -and then maybe Beijing.