Niko Williams-Richey and Steve Emere joined the Florida A&M men’s track and field team last fall and have quickly become a “match made in heaven.”
Both athletes joined the team during this season after transferring from South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas. It did not take long for their presence to be felt, as they quickly became team captains because of their top-tier performances.
Richey, a multi-time All-American received his first opportunity to shine at South Field High School with former coach Greg Foreman.
Prior to life on the track, Richey would always find himself in trouble. He said it wasn’t until Foreman took an interest in him that he decided to dedicate himself to something positive.
During his first year on the high school track team, Richey succeeded at South Field’s state championship with a top finish in the 4 x 100m relay. By Richey’s second year, he earned a spot at the National Junior Olympics.
Richey said he decided that track and field was the sport for him after those accomplishments.
“I loved the positive attention track brought,” said Richey. “It’s a game of milliseconds and inches; it’s competitive.”
Richey said Wayne Angel, FAMU’s track and field head coach, was a primary reason for his decision to transfer.
“I wanted to train up under Coach Angel,” Richey said. “I knew he could make me stronger.”
Also transferring from SPC was hurdler and triple-jumper Steve Emere.
Angel said the pair are national-class athletes and offers national championship experience to the team. Angel describes the two athletes as a “Match made in heaven.”
“I knew that they could compete with big schools and maximize the team’s ability to score points,” said Angel.
Emere, a junior from Atlanta, is also a Multi-time All-American track athlete and is currently the Mid-Eastern Athletic Indoor Conference triple jump champion.
Angel said the two have tough mental attitudes and respond well to challenges.
Richey, a sprinter with personal-best times of 10.32 in the 100m dash and 20.77 in the 200m, said he was recruited to uphold the responsibility of motivating the team to achieve success.
“I keep everyone informed and focused on the goal,” said Richey.
Richey and Emere’s connection can be traced back to their high school days.
Emere met Richey at the Drake Relays in Iowa during their senior year and have been friends ever since. Emere said having his close friend as a captain adds no pressure at all.
“I think I go harder on him even though he’s the captain,” joked Emere.
Laughingly, Richey added, “Yeah, He’s (Emere) is the only person I know that can roll out of bed and out do people on their best days.”
Twenty-one-year-old Emere said he got his start at Redan High School, which is located in Stone Mountain, Ga. under the direction of Coach Willie Griffith.
“He created a monster,” said Emere.
Emere was chosen as the MEAC Men’s Track and Field Athlete of the Week in January and has recorded a personal best time of 21.30 in 200m. His best time in the 110m hurdles is 13.95 and 51.63 in the 400m hurdles.
Both are Psychology majors and plan to further their education in graduate school.
“Sports and education goes hand in hand, education is important” said Emere.
The two also said they dream of running professionally.
Angel said, which Richey and Emere’s help, he plans to lead team to first place in the MEAC.
“They don’t believe in mediocrity, and neither do I,” said Angel. “You must have courage in the face of adversity. Either be good or be gone.”