“Swim Fast” Motto Keeps Spirits High in Richardson Family

Brothers Reid and Regan Richardson grew up around swimming, serving as a long standing tradition in their family that goes back two generations.

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Photo by Brooklyn Blasdel-Maize High journalism

At the state 1A-5A swim meet, Reid and Regan Richardson celebrate with their teammates, Eli Stucky (12) and Brandon Bowles (12), after beating the state record in the 200 Freestyle Relay. The team finished third overall at the meet.

Bridget Johnson, Bullseye Reporter

A natural talent from a young age. A reliable family of knowledgeable support. An uplifting team of talented swimmers.

There’s no telling how a dedicated swim support system has helped two of Maize South’s Reid and Regan Richardson.

Senior Reid Richardson and sophomore brother Regan Richardson have been swimming since they were young children. Although they now participate in the sport for competition, it started off as a simple necessity to learn the required water skills.

“It was simply just a life saving skill my parents wanted to learn and we were fish. Who knew we’d have fish in the family?” said Heather Richardson, Reid and Regans’ mom. 

Now, Reid Richardson is a successful swimmer in his high school career, shattering state records and personal bests, with his family cheering him on. Whether his motivation comes from his brother’s competition in the water or his mother cheering him on from the sidelines, Reid definitely has the support network many athletes only dream of.

“We share a bond that we don’t want to lose to each other. I think we drive each other and as just friends, I think we have a good understanding of what we’d like to do. It’s always fun hanging out with him,” said Regan Richardson.

At the end of year swimming banquet, held at the Richardson house in a potluck style this year, the team poses for a final photo of the season. They celebrated their achievements, spent a final day with the team’s seniors, and ate some food before the season was over. (Photo by Bridget Johnson)

With a family full of swimmers, Reid and Regan have some traditions with their family that stretch through the generations and refuse to die, no matter the brothers’ ages.

“My mom would write the letters swim with a smiley face on your toes and then fast. It started on the left foot and she would start S-W-I-M with a smiley face and then F-A-S-T with an exclamation point on the other pinky toe. Actually, right before the state meet I wrote that on both the boy’s feet,” said Heather Richardson. “I sent pictures of it to my mom and I got, like, teary hearts about how amazing it was.”

Reid and Regan made the decision for their 2020-2021 school year to go full remote in order to not compromise their swimming season. With both boys seeking success at the state level, they did not want to get quarantined and miss the chance to compete in the high-level races towards the back end of the season.

“When it came down to it, they were like, ‘yeah we’ll go remote’. It wasn’t this huge debate. It was more about not switching back and forth when there was a change in the sense of if the school had to close, did it affect swimming? I mean, their focus is on swimming right now and that’s great, but you also have to have both parts,” said Heather Richardson.

Reid Richardson has managed to make remote as similar to brick and mortar school as possible, trying to balance his social life with being home while most of his friends are in school for the face to face model. Although it has been a struggle for many high school students, Reid has managed to keep his attitude positive and enjoy his experience as much as possible. 

“I had a friend, actually, who took the same classes as me so it wasn’t that bad. I would just call him for four or five hours. We kind of set up a schedule just like school, where we’d be in a class at a certain time, but we only had one in person teacher. The rest was all on Edgenuity and stuff. It was easy to work around it because we got early on some days and not others,” said Reid Richardson. “It was weird, it took some getting used to, but it’s good now.”

All in all, remote learning has kept the Richardson brothers doing what they love as safe as they could possibly be. But how has their not seeing their teammates impacted the team as a whole?

According to Reid, it hasn’t made as much of a difference as one would think.

“We’re still all good friends and stuff. Plus, they were only seeing each other some, some of them weren’t even seeing each other because their last names had been separated into two different things. It worked well,” said Reid.

Reid demands the best of you when you are around him, in the most endearing way possible. His ability to strengthen the team with his fraternal bond, unites us as a whole, and forces us to be the best we can, not only as swimmers, but as people as well. He is a role model for most everyone he encounters, and the confidence and charismatic posturing in which he presents himself, makes him a beacon of hope. ”

— Aiden Turner

Reid Richardson appreciates that the team has not changed their demeanor, despite the pandemic and struggles each individual swimmer has been going through.

“The team environment at the swim team is really fun. We did a practice with Maize, which, normally in other sports, it’s like a rivalry,” said Reid Richardson. “Everybody’s a team there and we always help each other and cheer for each other at meets.”

Reid believes the OneMaize swim team is full of amazing swimmers and teammates that lift him up and keep him positive, even on the worst of days. 

“A good teammate is somebody who can always be there to pick you up. And whenever you’re doing a hard set they can just be there and make you laugh and stuff like that,” said Reid. “Most of my friends are my competitors so we always joke around behind the blocks and tell each other goodbye. We talk trash but it’s fun.”

Reid Richardson (12), and Fabrizio Quiroz (11), say goodbye for the last time following the team’s swim banquet last Saturday. Richardson acts as a mentor, friend, and brother to many of the students on the team, especially the aspiring swimmers. “I admire his swagger the most, dude walks in with such confidence that not even Michael Phelps could beat that,” said Quiroz.

The combined team environment and dedication to the sport has had a strong impact on Reid Richardson’s daily life since his freshman year. With people always there to pick him up and keep him in check, it has changed his life for the better.

“Swimming just helped me make new friends and just develop a personality. It’s just been in my life for four years now and it’s all I do. So it’s just shaped me and molded me into who I am today,” said Reid Richardson.

With high aspirations for a collegiate swim future, Reid dreams of going to a D1 college after high school. This would allow him to further pursue his passion for swimming amongst some of the best swimmers in the country. 

“I’m going to take a gap year because of the NCAA allowing seniors to say there aren’t many sports left,” said Reid Richardson. “I’m just going to take a gap year, be a part time student at WSU, and then get recruited in the class in 2022.”

Reid’s whole family is incredibly supportive of Reid’s dreams, seeing him committed and dedicated to the sport in his near future. Although there have been challenges throughout his journey, he has grown as a person, swimmer, and competitor. 

Putting in the work in high school has allowed his family to truly notice his determination and push him further so that he is able to get where he wants to be in the next stage of his life. 

“I believe that whether or not they get a scholarship that they are worthy of the D1 level so you can walk on and then get where you need to be,” said Heather Richardson. “Wherever they go with it, I’m proud of them now. Whatever they do next is just icing on the cake.”