KINGSVILLE – Richard Cervantes was talented enough to play football and compete in track and field when he enrolled at Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2014.
But the discus and shot put eventually took up all his time.
After years of hard work, that dedication has paid off.
Cervantes makes handling the 16-pound shot look easy. The redshirt junior recently won the NCAA Division II national title with a throw of 19.12 meters. That’s roughly 63 feet.
“I just told myself that I’ve been busting my butt all season long for this and if I want it, go get it,” said Cervantes. I went out there and I got it. At the end, it was very exciting.”
He also took third place in the discus, helping the Javelina men’s squad earn a team national championship.
“We got to the national meet and told ourselves we have to score,” said Cervantes. “We got to score as many points as we can and at the end, we ended up at the top.”
Cervantes has earned several accolades with the Javelinas. He’s won conference titles and earned All-American status in addition to capturing the national title.
It’s a difference from high school.
“I know I didn’t win any state title or anything, but I kept putting in the work,” said Cervantes. “I’m a good athlete. It came out true. I’m a national champion.”
Cervantes has a year left with the Javelinas. He hopes to repeat his success next year when Texas A&M-Kingsville hosts the national championships.