There’s no I in team… usually.

But one of the exceptions to that old proverb came this month in 2008, when a high school athlete from a very small town competed as a team of one in the state track championships… and finished first two years in a row.

Bonnie Richardson competed for Rochelle High School in Texas.

Rochelle is, to quote the song, deep in the heart of Texas.

It’s a small farming community quite a ways away from any of the Lone Star State’s big cities.

Richardson was part of a graduating class of 14.

Not exactly where you’d expect to find a state track star; in fact, the school didn’t even have a standard track!

But Richardson had athletic talent that overcame the school’s limitations, and people in town described her as the hardest working student, maybe the hardest working person they knew.

She didn’t just work hard at track practice: she was also part of the basketball team, and the class valedictorian, and she worked on a ranch on the weekends.

Richardson was one of three members of the school track team, but the only one who qualified for the state championships.

So in the team competition, she represented the school in every event.

Not that this slowed her down: she finished first in two events, second in two more and placed third in a fifth event.

All that was worth 42 points, meaning that by the 1600 meter relay none of the teams had enough points to catch up to her.

Or, officially, to the Rochelle Lady Hornets, the winners of the team track championship thanks to a single team member.

In 2009 Richardson again came to the state track meet and again beat the other teams on her own.

And she handled the national and global attention better than most of us would, especially at that age.

After heading back to Rochelle, Richardson’s mom asked her to come home right after work one day to call back all the reporters who wanted interviews.

She said she would, but she had to finish her weight training first.

Winning two state team track titles earned Bonnie Richardson an athletic scholarship to Texas A&M, where she ran track and also took up rugby.

Can’t blame her for wanting to play a sport where you definitely don’t compete on your own.

Starting this Friday in Hilliard, Ohio, it’s the Early Television Convention.

This gathering is hosted by the Early Television Museum, and it features presentations on the early days of the medium, as well as a swap meet AND a chance to see the old-school TV sets in action.

Sounds like quite a show.

Photo by Dean Hochman via Flickr/Creative Commons