TV, Internet flip for backflip

Crater High's Austin Richmond has been viewed more than 140,000 times on YouTube
Crater's Austin Richmond catches a football while doing a backflip before practice Tuesday. Mail Tribune / Jamie LuschJamie Lusch

Crater High quarterbacks coach Ben Running uploaded a video last week of 16-year-old Austin Richmond catching a football while doing a backflip, and over the next few days it kept piling up the views.

On Monday, it caught the attention of ESPN and Fox Sports.

"I put it on YouTube about a week ago, and yesterday it just blew up all of a sudden," said Running, who noted the clip aired on ESPN Tuesday. "It's pretty cool. The kids are loving it."

"Fox Sports also put it on, and it's been on Yahoo News," said Richmond's stepmother, Ashlei Richmond.

Austin Richmond, a junior running back and safety, attributes the video's skyrocketing popularity to Vine, a video app for smartphones that records 6-second looping videos for sharing on social-media sites.

"On Vine, we got quite a few likes," said Austin. "It was awesome. People actually know where Crater is now."

After the video was uploaded to YouTube, Austin watched as the number of views kept growing. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had been watched more than 140,000 times.

"People just started sharing it, and it got all over really fast," said Ashlei Richmond. "It's been everywhere, and the school has definitely been getting a lot of feedback, and that's good for them."

Austin's family wasn't really surprised to see his amazing trick, because they're used to seeing him do backflips into pools and jump off of things, Ashlei Richmond said.

The flip/catch combination started a few weeks ago, when Austin was doing back flips on the field.

"Me and my friends were just messing around, and coach Running decided to throw the football," Austin said.

"Not very many people can do something that athletic," said Running, who confirmed that the feat was more than a lucky, one-time thing.

"He can do it whenever," Running said. "We saw him do it for a week or so, during team workouts, and I finally had a phone on me, and we got it on video."

When asked what his friends think of all this attention, Austin shrugs it off.

"They think it's cool. They're surprised it went viral," he said.

"We like to hype him up and make him feel good," said Ashlei Richmond. "We tell him he's famous and needs to start handing out autographs."

Reach reporter Mandy Valencia at 541-776-4486 or

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