By, Stephen Hobbs '11
Santaclarabroncos.com sat down with Richard Zhu and discussed everything from skydiving to Kanye West…
SCU: What inspired you to start cross country?
SCU: What was the F.L.A.M.E Program like, and what do you think you will bring back from that experience?
RZ: The F.L.A.M.E. program was an incredible four-day experience. I met multiple Olympic gold medalists and other dedicated student-athletes and my four days in Colorado Springs is something I will never forget. Along with all of the sweet U.S. Olympic gear, I learned many lessons from the seminars and discussion involving leadership, diversity, communication and creating your own legacy. Hopefully, I will be able to apply these lessons in my work on the track, in the classroom and in various organizations on campus.
SCU: Why did you choose Santa Clara after high school? What attracted you to the school?
SCU: What has been you best memory of Santa Clara as a student?
RZ: Tough question. There have been so many memories on this campus that I couldn't even count. From eating in Benson with teammates way past the closing time to bed surfing down the stairs in my dorm (it was the last night of the school year, so bunch of my friends decided to take advantage of it) to wearing the Santa Clara maroon and white on the track, there have been so many experiences I couldn't even decide on a "best" memory.
SCU: Is there one teammate that you enjoying running with? Which one of your teammates do you respect the most for their work ethic?
RZ: Chris Sampson, Guadalupe Gonzalez, and Kevin Oliver are just a few members of the team that make each run enjoyable. Having eighteen guys to run with everyday is something I've been blessed with at Santa Clara. Stephanie Wilson is definitely a teammate that I respect and admire. Her work ethic, dedication, perseverance, friendship and love for the sport are characteristics that make her not only a great athlete, but also a great person. Going to a Jesuit university, Stephanie is a role model for all members of Santa Clara to emulate.
SCU: Do you have a favorite race or memory from last years cross country season?
RZ: Last cross country season was a learning season and I had to assess my weaknesses and strengths as an athlete. Luckily, putting it together for the Bronco Invitational, our home meet, was the highlight of the season. Many members of the team ran personal bests and we finally defeated USF. My favorite memory had to be seeing Stephanie Wilson finish sixth at the West Regional Championships, which foreshadowed her exceptional national finish, and to see all of her hard work pay off.
RZ: The basketball games are always a highlight, especially the Gonzaga or St. Mary's games. Also, I'm an avid fan of tennis so I attempt to watch some tennis when the team has a home match.
RZ: My ipod is always playing Jack Johnson, Kanye West, or Jason Mraz, so I just put in on shuffle and go.
SCU: It says in your bio that you enjoy skydiving. When was the last time that you went? How many times have you gone?