Matt began running his freshman year of high school to prepare for basketball, and was surprised to discover he had a talent for it. His freshman year he ran as the 3rd man of a state championship team, placing 5th at regionals. For the next three years he would run as the first runner on his team, qualifying for the state championships 9 times, 4 in cross country, 4 in track, and once in basketball. His senior year in cross country he placed 6th at state, was the regional champion, was voted team captain, set the school record (16:24) for the 5K and was the All-North Idaho runner of the year. In basketball he was voted team captain, Co-MVP, and was and the All IEL First Team. In track he set the school record in the 1600 (4:25) and medley relay, was regional champion in both of those events, and took 5th and 3rd respectively at the state meet. At the end of that year he was nominated for the North Idaho Male Athlete of The Year.
After graduating from high school, Matt ran recreationally but took some time off from competitive running; He began to train again as a junior in college. During his senior year he was sponsored to run by Tri-State Athletic and lowered his personal record to 15:29 in the 5K and began placing well at many local races. During the winter of that year he had an accident playing basketball, and ended up with a torn ACL and damaged 6 areas of meniscus in his knee. The recovery took 9 months but during that time he student taught, coached the Moscow Junior High Cross Country team, and graduated from the University of Idaho with a 3.6 GPA, earning Bachelors in Education. After graduation, a high tech computer firm offered him a job and he stepped away from teaching and running for much longer than he anticipated.
For 5 years Matt didnÂ’'t run at all, partly because he was concentrating on family and career, and partly because he was worried about his knee. He and his wife Angie lived in Dallas, Irvine, and Portland where he was employed as a programmer and systems architect. Along the way they had two beautiful little girls, Saydee and Niah who are now 12 and 14.
In 2005 he and Angie decided to leave the big city and come back to Sandpoint, and once here desired to become more involved in the community that had given so much to them. They volunteered as coaches for the 2005 Sandpoint High School Cross Country team, and found the experience so rewarding that Matt dusted off his teaching certification and applied for they applied for the coaching position. He is running again, and over the last ten years has managed to get into the sub 17 range for his 5k. But more important he has found a place where he feels he can make a difference working with student athletes.
next 5 days
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The tougher the experience, the tougher you become.