In the realm of Olympic javelin throwing, Todd Riech is a name synonymous with excellence. Hailing from the picturesque town of H*t Springs, Montana, Riech's journey to becoming a celebrated athlete and coach is nothing short of legendary.
This month, his storied athletic career will be immortalized as he takes his rightful place in the Fresno County Hall of Fame, a well-deserved honor for a man who began his ascent as a multi-sport star at H*t Springs High School.
Born in 1970 to proud parents Jack and Gloria Riech, Todd's remarkable talent was evident from an early age. At H*t Springs High, he emerged as a track and field prodigy, captivating the attention of national experts, particularly in the javelin event.
Riech's high school tenure was marked by astounding achievements, including leading the Savage Heat to consecutive state Class C track and field championships in 1988 and 1989. His unparalleled dominance in the sport manifested with an impressive tally of 11 individual state championships throughout his high school track and field career, a feat few could fathom.
In his junior year, Riech secured victories in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter sprints, along with the javelin event. The following year, as a senior, he clinched the same titles while setting a state record in the 400-meter run, leaving an indelible mark on Montana's track and field legacy.
Yet, Riech's prowess extended beyond the track. As a standout basketball player, he averaged an impressive 27 points per game as a junior and a jaw-dropping 30.9 points per game in his senior year, making him a force to be reckoned with on the hardwood.
Riech's Olympic Triumphs
Post-graduation, Riech made a pivotal decision to follow his passion for track and field, declining athletic scholarship offers in basketball and football to enroll at Fresno State University. This bold choice led to three distinguished All-American designations and the setting of an NCAA record in the javelin in 1994.
Riech's remarkable journey reached its zenith when he earned a spot on the 1996 USA Olympic track and field team for the Atlanta Summer Olympics, an experience shared by only the most elite athletes. His dedication and unwavering commitment propelled him to unleash a personal best throw of 269 feet 5 inches that year.
Remarkably, Riech represented the USA in four separate track and field teams, a testament to his enduring excellence. Today, Todd Riech has transitioned into a certified personal trainer, channeling his knowledge and passion into coaching the men's and women's javelin teams at Fresno State.
He shares this journey with his wife, Brittany, a retired javelin thrower, and together, they call Fresno their home. As one enters H*t Springs, a sign proudly declares it as the hometown of Todd Riech, an enduring testament to the enduring legacy of a hometown hero.