No. 8 - A Long Time Coming
"If anyone was going to break my records, I would want it to be Richard. He has so much potential, and he's only a freshman." That was multiple time All-American Robert Rhodes, talking about the new kid on the block in 2012. Rhodes had just broke his school record in the 800m, running 1:50.53, signaling the passing of the torch in his last high school meet ever. It was clear, young Richard Rose was bound for bigger things.
Rose's first Invitational - December, 2011
Richard Rose, then just a freshman, was coming off a breakout season. For a freshman sprinter to be competitive against athletes four years older put the world on notice. His relays were some of the only teams to ever win both the 4x400m and 4x800m National Titles in the same meet. He split 49.1 and 1:54.3 to aid his squad in those efforts. Outdoors, he only improved over his freshman career. And the hits kept on coming.
Over the next three years, the bigger things came in droves. From sophomore to senior year, Rose was the National Leader in the 600m, with nobody even close. His 4x400m has been Top 20 in the Nation ever since, third overall in 2013. He's NY #20 All-Time over 300m, NY #4 All-Time Indoors over 400m, NY #5 All-Time Outdoors over 400m, and NY #2 All-Time over 600m. He's the Indoor National Champion over 400m. He's been unrivaled in the PSAL for years. Oh, and to Rhodes' worry about Rose in the 800m? Rose anchored his SMR in 1:49 his senior year, his only time at the 800m distance.
And yet, something was missing.
Through unusual circumstances, both propagated by himself and his competition, Richard Rose had never won a State Title, individual or otherwise. As a freshman, where both relays reigned supreme at the National Level, Rose missed out. Indoors, Rose was not on the 4x400m quartet that captured gold at Cornell. Outdoors, Rose had made his presence known, running as the second leg on the to-be National Championship relay, but Mount Vernon edged out Boys and Girls at the line by a nose. As a sophomore, after Rose was the national leader in the event, he would fade over the 600m on the tight turns of Cornell. Outdoors, Rose was still blasting times in the quarter mile. And yet, there seemed to arise a new rival, Izaiah Brown , also a sophomore, who was cruising unbelievable times to win relays. Brown would blast a personal best at the spring state meet, to take the title over Rose.
Junior year came, and Rose was better than ever. He had cracked 1:19 in the 600m, a whole second ahead of the next fastest guy in the nation. With nothing left to prove in the event, Rose focused his efforts instead, on the 300m Indoors. What he couldn't expect was the unpredictably strong performance by newcomer on the sprint scene, Rai Benjamin. Outdoors, he would get his revenge on Benjamin, breaking past the long figure to take the state leading performance at the Loucks Games. But circumstance would strike, as the last remaining SAT date happened to fall on the day of Outdoors States, knocking Rose out from title contention. By senior year, Rose was once again knocking out the competition in the 600m. And yet, the athlete which Rose had bested at Loucks, was having an exceptional season at the shorter sprints. Despite entering States for the 300m, Rose would attend, but not compete. Benjamin would go on to astound the crowd with his winning performance.
That left one last opportunity for the now-senior Richard Rose, in achieving the one elusive goal of every athlete. He was one of two top seeds in the 400m, as well as highly seeded in the 4x400m. In his way was the sophomore, now senior who thwarted his title efforts once before, Izaiah Brown. On Day 1 in Albany, the heat was sweltering. Brown, running like he had never before, shot out of the blocks to set a meet record in the 400m State final. But for Rose, the round only served as a qualifier for the Fed final the next day, the true State Title. Meanwhile, Brown again blew away the competition in the 200m trials, as well as the 4x400m. But the excessive running would get the better of Brown. After getting spiked in the 4x400m, Day 2 saw Brown pull up after taking the State Final in the 200m. He was out of the 400m, and consequently, the 4x400m. With Brown gone, Richard Rose would run away from the competition, winning by almost a second and a half. He had finally achieved the ultimate goal: a state title. Then there was the 4x400m. All the top names were there. Once again, Rose put down a stellar performance, aided by equally impressive marks from his teammates, and they would put down the fastest time in State that year. With one final attempt, Rose would grab both an individual and relay state title in one fell swoop. Moment No. 8 for 2015.