Q&A with Former Virginia Tech Sprinter, Keith Ricks

Good evening. @HokieGuru here and we are very happy at All Sports Discussion to have an interview with former Virginia Tech athlete,Keith Ricks.  From 2009 to 2012, Ricks was a sprinter for the Virginia Tech men’s track and field team.  He had an excellent career (and you can see the results of his career on the roster profile at Hokies Sports), including an outstanding 2012 senior season.  In the 2012 indoor track and field season, he earned second-team All-America honors with a 12th place finish in the 60 meters at the NCAA Championship, running his second fastest time ever in the event (6.62).  In the 2012 outdoor track and field season, he earned second-team All-America honors in the 4×100 meter relay.  You can follow him on Twitter at @LeWayne_Ricks.  Let’s start this interview!!

@HokieGuru:  What made you decide to become a Hokie?

@LeWayne_Ricks:  When I was first recruited to VT , they told me that they wanted to build the sprint team around me and develop the program as a whole to one day become ACC champions. I enjoyed that idea of competing on a developing team and saw into the vision of building the team to one day become ACC champions.

@HokieGuru:  Are you going down to Blacksburg this upcoming year for any Virginia Tech athletic contests?

@LeWayne_Ricks: Yes, I plan on keeping in touch with Virginia Tech athletics. I want to see some of the football and basketball games and of course see my old teammates compete at rector.

@HokieGuru:  Congratulations on your graduation this year.  What are your future plans?

@LeWayne_Ricks: I plan on attending grad school studying sports management. My goal is to one day have a career in athletic administration. I’m always looking for opportunities to gain experience in the athletic administration field. I will also continue training and set my athletic goals towards 2016 Olympic Games. After running at the 2012 Olympic Trials, it opened my eyes to many of the possibilities in track and field.

@HokieGuru:  Tell our readers about the life of a track athlete at Virginia Tech.

@LeWayne_Ricks: Life is good as a track athlete at Virginia Tech. We have our own indoor track so we get to have majority of our indoor meets right in blacksburg. That is extremely beneficial to have the VT fans come out to support. It gets pretty exciting inside rector field house!

@HokieGuru:  Who are some of the former Hokies athletes (and always Hokies) that you keep in touch with?

@LeWayne_Ricks: I keep in touch with majority of the former track athletes such as Queen Harrison, Kristi Castlin, and ebenezer amegashie. I also keep in touch with former football players from VT.

@HokieGuru:  Please tell our readers about some of your memorable experiences as a track and field athlete at Virginia Tech.

@LeWayne_Ricks:  One of the most memorable experiences was winning our first ACC Outdoor title. We were extremely close in points to Florida State and we needed to place at least 5th in the 4×400 relay to win the meet. I was anchor and got the stick in 6th place. With 200 meters to go in my race I gave my all and pulled us up to 5th place clinching the title. That was my greatest accomplishment doing that and something I will remember forever.

@HokieGuru:  Please tell us about your experience at the Olympic Trials – that had to have been awesome.

@LeWayne_Ricks:  Olympic Trials was a really great experience. Olympic Trials offered the total package for track meets. The fans are really amazing in Eugene. The atmosphere with all the past olympic athletes and coaches was great also.

@HokieGuru:  For those who have not heard about your volunteer service, Keith, please tell us about your ACC Coach for College Vietnam experience.

@LeWayne_Ricks: The Coach for College experience was amazing. The program benefits the ACC student athletes just as much as the Vietnamese students we were teaching. I benefited in my own personal leadership, communication, and I now have widened perspective on the world. I learned so much about Vietnam. Nothing beats having that in person experience compared to reading about a place in a book. After the program I was given the opportunity to serve as a Marketing Director to help promote the program around campus. That experience gave me the opportunity to talk to student athletes about my experiences in Vietnam and encourage them to participate in the program.

@HokieGuru:  What is your fondest memory at Virginia Tech?

@LeWayne_Ricks:  My first week as a freshman had to be my fondest memory at Virginia Tech. It started with Orientation and meeting my new teammates and coach. Everything was new and unfamiliar yet filled with ambition and opportunity. Since then I have grown very close to my teammates especially the ones that came in the same year that i did in 2008. We are all very close now and will continue to be close in the future.

@HokieGuru:  It might be too early to digest a question like this because you’re a recent graduate, but how much do you think you will miss your time at Virginia Tech?

@LeWayne_Ricks: I will miss my time at Virginia Tech. I already miss it honestly and its not even over yet. Every meet me and Ogechi would feel as though we were getting closer and closer to our last meet representing Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech has given us great memories and experiences through the past four years that we will greatly miss.

@HokieGuru:  Virginia Tech has been a real mover in track and field – we’ve had substantial success in the Atlantic Coast Conference track and field indoor and outdoor meets – we’ve also done well on the national level. To what do you attribute our success?

@LeWayne_Ricks:    When I first came to Virginia Tech there were not that many sprinters. I would have to do workouts by myself as a short sprinter during my freshman year. I started doing well at virginia Tech and many high school athletes from around the area became more interested in training here also. I hosted majority of the sprint/jump team that has signed including Darrell Wesh, Ronnie Black, Daniel McFadden, and Walter Mitchell. They all told me after getting to Virginia Tech that I had an influence in their decision to attend Virginia Tech. So my success in developing the team not only included my athletic performances but also trickled into recruiting and bringing in new talent to further develop the program.

@HokieGuru:  Any advice for the students out there that read this about getting ready for college and beyond from your experiences as a track and field athlete?  Was there anything that you took from your away experience on as a track and field athlete that could help you in other areas of life?

@LeWayne_Ricks: I would say to them to take advantage of all the opportunities in college. I took advantage of many opportunities and it led me places where I thought I would never expect. It even led me to travel south east Asia ! Those experiences are invaluable and could lead to many more opportunities by just taking a chance.

We thank @LeWayne_Ricks: for the interview and his time!!  GO HOKIES!!

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