BUTTE, Mont. -- Two years ago, the track & field and cross country programs at Montana Tech didn't exist.

Now, the Mining City is home to the NAIA outdoor track & field athlete of the year: Becca Richtman.

Now a graduated senior, Richtman capped of an incredible college career at the outdoor track & field championships, placing second in the steeplechase and 5K, while earning the gold medal in the 10K.

"I took it with a little over 1K to go and really threw the hammer down and never looked back," Richtman said. "I guess it was a pretty insane move. I mean, it felt cool during, but afterwards, everyone was really impressed."

As a team, the Orediggers finished eighth nationally out of 71 schools.

It's not a stretch to say that Richtman has brought Montana Tech's programs to the top level in no time at all.

"I think it sets the bar at a really high level for us right away," said Montana Tech track & field and cross country coach Zack Kughn. "She's opened up the eyes and proven to the athletes on the team right now and recruits and potential recruits down the road that you can be as good of an athlete as you want to be at Montana Tech."

With Richtman now graduated having accomplished just about everything she could in her college career, what's next?

You'll never guess--more running.

While Richtman is an incredible individual athlete, her penchant for elevating others is what makes her truly special.

She hopes to keep the running scene alive in Butte by building up its run club programs, and she even dreams of opening a small business uptown where runners can recharge.

Of course, she'll continue running herself. And a race all the way across the country is a perfect place to start.

"I have a race in Pittsburgh," Richtman said. "I think I'm the last woman seeded to come in with a time. So, it's a good chance to get-my-butt-kicked type of thing."

As for Montana Tech, what's next? Will the program diminish without Richtman on the track?

Based on the Orediggers' team performances, not at all.

"[Richtman] will be gone, and it'll be a tough loss for sure," Kughn said. "But if you're talking track & field, the rest of the team was all freshmen."

"We scored 226 points," Kughn continued. "She had 40 of them, but that's still 186 points from true freshmen. They want to come score even more next year."

The Orediggers will finally get to host their first meet this October. And while Richtman won't be on the track, her never-ending smile will be in the stands or on the sidelines just the same.