Calhoun Falls native Tevin Richardson has had a decorated track and field career thus far at North Greenville University, and he has the accolades to show for it.

This season, the junior runner was named the Division II Southeast Region Men’s Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He finished last season as the top-ranked sophomore in the nation for Division II. Richardson also was named the Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year for men’s track in 2017.

Richardson also ranked top-10 nationally in the 200- and 400-meter dash this year. But there’s still one goal he wants to accomplish in his final season before his time at the school is up.

“A successful senior year is that we go back in this national championship and win this bad boy as a team,” Richardson said.

In May, Richardson and the Crusaders competed in the NCAA Division II outdoor track and field national championships for the second straight season, turning in better results than in 2018.

North Greenville as a team finished in second place behind Tiffin in the men’s 4x100 relay. Richardson, JJ Sherman, Jackson Junkins and Preston Pierce combined to post a time of 40.66 seconds.

In the 200-meter dash, Richardson finished fifth with a time of 21.29 seconds.

The Crusaders still expect more. Richardson said they are solely focused on having another strong season in order to make it back to the championships and try to finally capture a first-place finish.

“That’s the main thing, just getting this national championship, because that’s been one thing we’ve been really focusing on,” Richardson said. “We’ve been working really hard on it. We work hard every day as a team, we pray, and just go above and beyond to put in the hard work.”

Richardson was a multiple-time state champion during his time at Calhoun Falls Charter School, winning state championships in five events across his junior and senior years. Richardson was twice named Index-Journal Player of the Year in boys track.

Now, he’s ready to add a national championship to his college career.

After experiencing the outdoor national championships for two consecutive seasons, Richardson said he realizes he needs to get stronger and leaner to give himself the best chance for a first-place finish.

“The main thing right now is to rest up and get stronger,” Richardson said. “I’m not as strong as most guys in the weight room, so the weight room is going to play a big part in the offseason this year. That’s mainly about it so I’ll be able to run a better, faster time this upcoming year.”

Richardson called the national championships a “life-changing experience” because of the competitors he was able to meet and compare himself to.

“I met some really great guys, and some guys that are supposed to be going pro this year,” he said. “Getting into that championship nature, everything’s faster. Everybody’s bigger and stronger. You really have to execute in the moment and handle your business. Just getting into that element with those guys, it’s all business.”

Richardson had high expectations of winning the 200-meter dash this year, but he said there are some things he needs to work on in order to put himself in a better position next year.

“Mainly technique form, and like I was saying, getting a little stronger,” Richardson said. “Just a lot of small things I need to work on so I can get back and get better.”

Richardson will have one more shot with the Crusaders next year, and he’ll be hoping to go out with a bang.

“We have a great spring coach in David Pickett, and I have some great teammates in JJ Sherman, Jackson Junkins and Preston Pierce,” Richardson said. “I’ve got a great unit around me, some amazing guys. …I want to win that 200-meter dash, and get at least a top-five finish in the 400-meter. And hopefully we can win that 4x100 and 4x400 relay.”

Contact sports writer Wesley Dotson at 943-2530 or follow him on Twitter @WesleyPDotson.