Grill The Spartan: Nisha Richardson

Nisha Richardson is in her third season with the San Jose State cross country team. The Spartans compete at the WAC Championship in Las Cruces, N.M., November 1. Find out how she prepares for a race and keeps her teammates motivated to do their best in this week's edition of Grill the Spartans.

What inspired you to run cross country?
-I’d say it was my dad who inspired me. He was a runner, and when I started high school he wanted me to give it a try, and now here I am.

Do you have any honorary medals or trophies for running that you treasure more than others?

-I’ve won a lot of medals, and it’s really hard to choose just one. I’m proud of them all.

Can you describe what it is like to be a student-athlete in college?

-It’s a lot of work, and very exhausting. Sometimes, it’s hard to stay alert in class, but the motivation to keep going will keep you on track in the sport and in the classroom.

How do you prepare for a race?

-The night before I like to eat a lot, steak especially to get protein. Then I make sure that I get a good night’s rest.

What type of shoe do you prefer to run in or think is the best?

-My favorite running shoe is any of the Mizuno editions.

What is going through your head as you are running in a race?
-I usually have a song stuck in my head while I run, but I like to pick an object that is in front of me while I'm running and focus on that point ahead.

What are your goals going into a race?
-I don’t actually try to get a certain place. Depending on where we are running, I usually come up with a time in my head before the race that I would like to finish under.

How can you help your fellow teammates during a race?

-I usually try to keep them motivated as we run. If I see somebody slowing down I’ll try to help push them to the finish, and just encourage them to keep working hard.

Where is your favorite place to run a race?

-My favorite race is the one at Pepperdine. You run on a golf course that is right up against the ocean, and it’s always really beautiful.

What do you do to keep in shape while it’s not cross country season?

-I usually get only a few weeks out of the year to just relax and have time on my hands. When our team isn’t in season, I like to run and train as if we are.

What is your major?

-I’m majoring in marketing, and also going for a minor in kinesiology.

What are your plans for after college?
-I’m thinking about going for my master's degree when I’m done with my four years, but eventually I want to get a job in sports marketing.

Where did you attend high school?
-I went to Canyon High in Anaheim Hills, California.

Do you have any brother or sisters?
-Yes, I have one older sister.

What are your hobbies?
-Running takes up most of my time, but I like to go and work out at the gym when I’m free.

Who are your favorite musical artists?
-I’ll listen to almost anything, except for country music.

What other sports interest you?
-I don’t play any other sports, but I like to watch baseball, basketball, football, and soccer on TV.

What types of food do you like to eat?

-My favorite food is Mexican; I especially like to eat tacos.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

-I would love to travel to Italy one day.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

-I really hate bad drivers.

This week’s Grill the Spartan was brought to you by The Grill On The Alley.

2008-09 Grill The Spartan Editions
June 13 - Jeff Leightman, Women's Soccer
August 20 - Lewis Sweeney, Men's Soccer
August 27 - Junior Burgos, Men's Soccer
September 3 - Ricky Dorrego, Men's Soccer
September 10 - Augie Argabright, Cross Country
September 24 - Silvana Dukic, Tennis
October 1 - Aaron Conrad, Men's Golf
October 8 - Bradis McGriff, Football
October 15 - Erin Garcia, Swimming
October 29 - Nisha Richardson, Women's Cross Country