USC junior hurdler Jason Richardson will compete with 23 other Gamecock track and field athletes at the NCAA Championships this week in Des Moines, Iowa. Richardson, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA in the 110m hurdles and a member of the 4x40m relay, is undefeated as a collegiate this season outdoors.
Richardson will blog each day this week:
"The worst part of traveling is the morning wake up. Being that our flight departed Columbia at 6 a.m., I was up before at 4.a.m. to do some last minute packing. My teammate Britney James scooped me up from my on campus dorm and we headed to the bus to head to the airport.
Something about altitude absolutely makes people lose their mind! I had a bit of an issue with both flight attendants on the two-flight trip to Des Moines. The first flight attendant clearly wished she was in her bed and not on a flight.
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She yelled about tray tables, Ipods, and cell phones all the while sarcastically talking about how willing she was to cater to our every need on the flight, lol . . . yeah right! I try to believe the glass is half full so . . . I thought to myself 'at least she's not flying the plane'!
The second flight attendant had to have been a Mile High Assassin because she tried to ruin my entire meet experience before it even began. I sat next to my teammate Antonio Sales and we are both 6-foot-2.
Federal regulations mandate that all those over 6 feet must be uncomfortable and must have their knees shoved under their chins for the duration of the flight! Because he fell asleep before I did, his right knee came dangerously crossed the imaginary line that separated the two seats and consequently I had my own right knee randomly in the aisle. Not so bad right? WRONG! Two words . . . Beverage Service.
I'm comatose; drool dripping, dreaming of winning my first National Title when I almost (I said almost, lol) screamed out several beautiful expletives because the flight attendant ran the beverage service cart straight into my fragile, finely-tuned athletic knee! After deciding I wasn't in need of knee surgery I quickly drank my Ginger Ale hoping it quenched both my thirst and my irritation before I fell back asleep.
We landed in Des Moines, grabbed the rental cars and it was then that I decided that I would have a stress free trip and enjoy my time as a collegiate athlete. I love Carolina, and I love being a USC athlete and I guess I listen to the old people that say, "your college years are the best years of your life."
We ate and headed to practice where I felt like I was at a Track and Field family reunion. I've represented the United States on two international competitions and I've been to several major meets where I've been with some of the craziest people you'll ever meet in track and field and most of them were at the meet. I laughed, joked, and acted stupid. . . practiced just a skosh . . and then headed back to the hotel for team dinner.
Well. . . these days leading up to the meet are the proverbial calm before the storm. I'm relaxing because when competition starts, it's going to get crazy.
'Til next time . . .