By all accounts, Cade Richeson flourished as a freshman on the Ohio Wesleyan University men's track and field team.
The 2017 Thomas Worthington High School graduate was named North Coast Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year after winning shot put titles during both the indoor and outdoor seasons and setting the Battling Bishops' freshman throwing records in both the shot put (56 feet, 7 1/2 inches) and discus (152-5 1/2).
OWU won both indoor and outdoor team titles in the NCAC.
"It was a great season and I flourished there," said Richeson, who helped Thomas win its third Division I state team championship as a senior. "I loved my teammates and coaches. I fit in well everywhere, except the school part of things."
Consequently, Richeson began to think about transferring to another college, but didn't know where to start.
"I probably wouldn't have acted on it, but I have a close family friend (2013 Hartley graduate Andrea Cottrell) who went to the University of Louisville and was on the swimming team and she told me I should look into (Louisville)," Richeson said. "She was one of the top swimmers in the nation. She and I have a lot of similarities and I trusted her opinion. She said it was the best four years of her life there, so I decided to look into it."
Richeson will start attending Louisville this fall as a sophomore.
"All of my academic hours transferred and I don't have to sit out or anything like that," he said. "Their head coach (Dale Cowper) is also the throws coach for the men's and women's teams. I sent him videos after every meet with Ohio Wesleyan this spring and he seems as excited to have me as I am excited to be going there.
"(Cowper) tells me I can be the best in the nation. I love someone who buys in to me being the best as much as I do. I'm looking forward to training at a high level and being pushed. That's one thing I didn't have at Ohio Wesleyan. Now I will have teammates who push me every day to get better."
As a senior at Thomas, Richeson set school records in both the discus (172-7 during the Division I state meet) and shot put (55-9 at district). At state, he placed third in the discus and 14th in the shot put (51-8).
"Cade is the best thrower our program has ever had and continued to blossom at Ohio Wesleyan," Thomas coach Bill Darling said. "He was the top-ranked Division III (college) freshman in the nation in the shot put and I think he's just scratching the surface. He is capable of so much more.
"He was recruited by Division II colleges, but wanted to stay close to home. He was too good to settle for Division III and I think he finally saw that. He didn't feel like he was going to get pushed, so he's taking a big step and seems committed to train with the top guys. It's a huge opportunity to compete in the (Atlantic Coast Conference)."
During the indoor season for OWU, Richeson won the shot put title (53-11 3/4) in the All-Ohio Division III Championships Feb. 10 at Otterbein, won the shot put title (53-5 3/4) in the NCAC Championships March 2 and 3 at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and finished 10th in the shot put (52-1 1/2) in the NCAA Division III Championships March 9 and 10 at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama.
During the outdoor season, Richeson placed second in the shot put (53-1/4) and third in the discus (147-4) in the All-Ohio Division III Championships April 14 at OWU, won titles in both the shot put (49-10) and discus (152-3) in the NCAC Championships May 4 and 5 at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and placed ninth in the shot put (53-3/4) in the NCAA Division III Championships May 24-26 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, missing All-America honors by less than two inches.
Richeson was seeded sixth entering the NCAA Division III Championships after recording his qualifying throw of 54-8 3/4 at the Sparky Adams Invitational on April 21 at Baldwin Wallace.
"It was a great first season in college and I was able to get my feet wet. Now we'll see what I can do from here," Richeson said. "I'm very motivated to make things work at Louisville and I'm happy that (the OWU coaches) understood my situation and that they wished me the best. There are no real hard feelings."
Richeson was named to the Division III All-Great Lakes Region team in the shot put. All-region honors went to those who recorded one of the region's top-five performances in a particular event.
In addition to being named NCAC Newcomer of the Year in the outdoor season, he also earned NCAC Field Athlete of the Week honors four times.