Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

May 15, 2008

As South Carolina’s track and field teams prepare for the SEC Championships, Gamecock All-American veterans Brandi Cross and Jason Richardson are preparing to win their first SEC titles in their signature events. Cross is looking to continue USC’s 400m dominance and Richardson looks to match Terrence Trammell’s own legacy in the 110m hurdles.

What events will you compete in at the SEC Championships?

Brandi – The 400m and the 4x400m relay. I am running for points, not for time. Time is great, but I am running for points to be honest.

Jason – The 110m hurdles and the 400m hurdles. I am not sure if I am running the 4x400m relay.

What is your favorite part of SECs?

Brandi – The mile relay when it’s all over. We go home, we eat. I like that part. I let myself down at the NCAA Indoor Championships so I have something to prove to myself this weekend.

Jason – The best part? To watch the people on the team step it up at conference. To see them place higher than they are expecting. I like to see my teammates PR and do well.

What are your goals this weekend?

Brandi – I would like to run :51 this weekend and I would like the relay to run 3:30 or faster. I would like to split 51 seconds on the relay.

Jason – Honestly to PR. I have run 13.31. The SEC record is 13.29 (set by South Carolina’s Terrence Trammell in 2000).

Brandi – I told him to break it in the prelims and then just run for the win in the finals.

Jason – (smiling) Yeah, no pressure.

What about the 400m hurdles Jason?

Jason – I just want to run a clean race. I want to run a similar race to the one I ran at Penn Relays, but with more confidence. I would love to run under :50.

Brandi – I just want to be `one with the track’ and then I will run fast. If I’m `one with the track’, I know I can run :51.

Jason – And then I am going to laugh at her. If she goes :53, then what?

Brandi – Um, then I wasn’t `one with the track’?

What is the best part about the SEC Championships?

Brandi – We have the best competitors here. If you can get through it here, you can get through nationals.

Jason – It’s a mini-nationals. It’s the competitiveness of nationals without as many rounds.

How do you like Regionals?

Brandi – I do not. It’s pointless. I think it’s an extra meet we don’t need, but that’s just how I feel.

Jason – Regionals are easy after going through the SEC Championships. In the case of the 110m hurdles I think there are four of the top 10 in the country.

Brandi – That’s how it always is. It’s always SEC athletes at the top of each event nationally.

How long have you two known each other? How did you meet?

Brandi – I think I was 15.

Jason – I was 17. I feel like I have known her all my life. When I started to have memory, I saw her.

Brandi – We met in New Mexico the Great Southwest Classic. We were both running for Texas.

Jason – We have always gotten along well. We are the best of friends, like brothers and sisters.

Brandi – With the exception of Canada when he threw fruit loops at me. We were on World Youth Championships for USA. We also ran there with Gamecock teammates Natasha Hastings and Jamil James.

Why do you think you are such good friends?

Brandi – Jason can best answer that. I am like the annoying little sister he never had because he has older sisters. He is the big brother I never had. I never said great big brother. Just big brother.

Jason – I think we are such good friends because we are Texas-made, Texas-raised. Our personalities are so opposite, but we always end up with the same conclusion.

What’s the funniest thing about each other?

Brandi – When he is trying to explain something with really big words I don’t understand. I have to go to the dictionary every time.

Jason – I can’t help she doesn’t understand basic elements of the English language. Brandi isn’t that funny. Honestly I’m joking. No really, where the stuff comes from that she says. You look at her like `where did that come from?’ She says whatever she is thinking and there is barely a filter.

What is the best part of this team?

Brandi – There is always room for growth. The team is really young and there is a lot of potential.

Jason – I agree. We are young on the women’s side and the men are young and talented. There is room for improvement.

How different is South Carolina from Texas?

Brandi – The skating rink is always open in Texas. There wasn’t a lot to do when I first got here, but having Natasha and Jason to hang out with made it fun. When track rolls around I know so many people that it’s fun to go to meets.

Jason – Things don’t close at 5 pm in Texas. I like South Carolina; it’s grown on me.

Brandi – We are ready to lead this team to bigger things than people think we can achieve simply because we can represent Texas from the University of South Carolina, simply because we are TEXAS MADE and TEXAS RAISED!

What would you tell an incoming freshman about South Carolina Track and Field?

Brandi – I tell them on recruiting visits that we are the `real-est’ team you will come across. What you see is what you get. If you can balance a healthy school-life, a healthy social-life with a healthy track career then this is the place you should be.

Jason – I think we are one of the most unique programs in America. I look at other teams and I see a lot of the same type of people, but here we have every type of personality and every type of person.

Brandi – We really have the ability to have the best team hands down.