As the 2013 Track and Field season gets underway, we will be highlighting some of the top athletes in each event.
Name: Matti Groll
High School: Desert Mountain High School
Year of Graduation: 2013
Track and Field PR's:
When did you first get involved with track and field? How long have you been running:
I was first involved in track through a youth league when I was in elementary school. I ran in middle school as well, but I never ran more than three times a week. I started running seriously my freshman year of high school
What is a typical training week like for you?
Usually I start Monday with a recovery run or a light tempo run. Tuesday is a 3200m-oriented workout. Wednesday is a track meet, or a recovery run. Thursday is an 800m-oriented workout. Friday is a low-key recovery run. On Saturday, I run long and tempo. Sunday is usually an off day.
What are your goals for the upcoming track season?
My main goals are to continue to improve my times and to repeat/improve my placing at State in the 1600m. I want to break my school’s 800 meter record, and my 4x800 team is working hard to break the school record as well.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for a race? Do you have any superstitions?
In cross country, I listen to the same song before every one of my races to get motivated, which I may continue to do during track. Before each of my 800 races, I eat a honey stick.
What does your season look like and will you be competing in any out of state track meets during the season or post high school season?
I will most likely stay in-state this season and plan to peak during the State meet.
What message would you tell younger runners who aspire to be at the top?
I think the best thing to remember is that life is a marathon, not a sprint. You are not going to get to the top by finishing first in one repeat and falling back in the others. It takes time to make your way to the top. Even Bernie didn’t win every race his freshman year. Stay consistent, work hard, and the results will come.
If you had to attribute your success to one thing, what would it be?
Forming rivalries and friendships with other runners like Jake Wynn (Saguaro) and Jack Rubenzer (Brophy) has motivated me to push myself to the limit both at practice and during races.
Do you have role models or mentors in track and field?
Every one of my coaches I’ve had in the last four years has been a mentor to me. The upperclassmen during my freshman and sophomore years were huge role models to me, and helped shape my attitude towards the sport. My mom has also been my personal mentor throughout my high school career.
How many events do you compete in and which event is your favorite?
I mainly compete in the 1600, 800, and 3200, of which the 1600 is my favorite, but I will occasionally run the 4x400 and it is probably my favorite event. Everyone cheers you on, because it’s the last event and everyone wants to go home. It’s over so fast, and I always end up laughing as I pass the finish line.
What are 3 things we don't know about you?
- My family is from Finland, and I can speak Finnish.
- I have a (ginger) brother who is a freshman running for Desert Mountain. Keep an eye on him in the next few years.
- I hate the taste of chocolate.
Favorite Pre-race Meal?
Favorite TV show or movie?
Friends (TV show)
21 Jump Street (Movie)
Sun Angel Classic
Taylor Swift, but we are never ever ever getting back together.
Perfect temperature to compete in?
75 degrees? I don't know.
Fighter by Gym Class Heroes
Favorite quote/or saying?
“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.”
~ Roger Bannister