Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Time Out Session: Matt Seidel and Olivia Stein Break Records

Seattle University Track and Field, under the guidance of new head coach Kelly Sullivan has produced some stellar athletes. Senior Matthew Seidel of Santa Clara, Ca., and junior Olivia Stein of Portland, Ore. are two runners in particular that have recently shattered school records. Seidel broke his own record in the 5k and Stein crushed the 10k record.

LZ: How long have you been running track and field? What prompted you to get involved?

MS: I started running track in high school and it was largely a desire to do sports without much hand-eye coordination. I was always a good competitor but didn’t get in baseball, basketball or soccer so I tried running and discovered I wasn’t half bad. I’ve stuck with it over eight years and it’s gone pretty well.

OS: I started running track and field in the seventh grade. Growing up, I never played sports and spent the weekends hiking with my dad. Running became a way that I could stay in shape for our weekend hikes. By the time I started middle school, I wanted to join a sport but I felt that it was too late. However, when our class did the mile, I had one of the fastest times. After being one of the fastest girls in my class, I decided to do a mile time trial each week on the high school track. Throughout the summer, I trained myself to try to run a sub-six-minute mile. That fall, a cousin of mine introduced me to the coach of Bowerman Athletic Club, and I began to run cross country and track.

LZ: How did it feel to break the record?

MS: I actually held the previous school record in the event, so in a way it was much like anyone else who runs a personal best because that was my goal. But my previous school record was run my sophomore year, so to go a full season and not come close to my personal record then come out last week and shave seven seconds was a very confidence-boosting experience. My time is also the No. 1 in the WAC [Western Athletic Conference] right now, so I am really looking forward to conference.

OS: Breaking the record felt incredible. Looking back at my career at Seattle University, I’ve had a history of falling just short of my goals. For instance, I placed second in the 10k at conference, got injured for the end of cross country season and was very close to breaking the school record in the 5k indoors. To finally have everything come together, and actually break a record was amazing.

LZ: How did the new head coach impact your performance?

MS: The new coaches have had a lot to do with the changes in my performance. I’m thankful for our previous coaching staff for building up my training base and now with Kelly, everything this year has been all about putting me in the best position possible come race day. I’m thankful for Kelly’s optimism, excitement and ability to boost my confidence when I’m feeling down. He’s the best, and the rest of our staff is a reflection of his infectious positivity. I’m really excited to see where this team is at in the years to come.

OS: Coach Kelly had a major impact in my performance. I can’t say enough good things about Coach Kelly. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, so having a Coach who isn’t afraid to think in the same way has been huge. Additionally, his training style is a lot different than what I’ve had in the past, and it’s definitely working for me.

LZ: Was breaking this record a concrete goal you had in mind or was it a happy accident?

MS: This was very much planned. Since I had the previous record, all I wanted this year was to run a personal record this year and I did just that. I have my eyes on some larger goals, I hope to drop another 10 seconds or so off that time and try and compete for a regional qualifying mark.

OS: Going in to the race, I was excited to see what I could do. The workouts I had leading up to the race showed me that I was in good shape, and gave me an estimate of what I could potentially run. Even though I had a goal in mind, I hadn’t thought about the fact that if I ran the time I wanted it would smash the school record. The way that I ran and approached the race was a huge breakthrough mentally and physically. I am very excited to see how I can use this confidence at the conference championships.

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