Athlete of the Month- Matthew Goldsmith


Photo by Nathan Deychman

Senior Matthew Goldsmith trains for the upcoming cross-country state championship.

By Nathan Deychman, Online Editor-in-Chief

In fifth grade, senior Matthew Goldsmith ran his first 5k with his mother. His family had been running the race, called Race for Hope, dedicated to raising funds to fight brain cancer, for years. After watching his family run it for so long, he decided to give it a try. He ran it in 31 minutes and has been in love with distance running ever since.

Now a senior and cross-country captain, Goldsmith has been a three season runner for CHS since his freshman year, running cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track. He has drastically improved every year and become not only a captain, but arguably the team’s best runner.

“Running has taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance,” Goldsmith said. “I have learned hard work through pushing myself on runs and workouts everyday at practice.”

Goldsmith leads by example and has helped guide the CHS cross-country team to a strong season. He is also giving the team a chance for a strong showing at the county, regional and state championships. Through his strong leadership and impressive work ethic, Goldsmith has gained the respect of his coaches and teammates.

“Whenever there is a grueling workout, Matt is the first one to toe the line,” teammate and co-captain Grant Dong said. “More than once, if I fall back during a workout, he’ll pull up right next to me and urge me to hang on. He’s always there helping out in whatever way it can be, whether it means offering running tips or cheering from the sidelines.”

As Goldsmith’s training has developed, he has become the fastest member of the cross-country team. His times have increased monumentally, with his 3-mile personal best currently at 16:17, more than a minute faster than his previous best. However, his times are not the only ones improving. Goldsmith’s ability to improve the ability of those around him has led to the development of several strong CHS runners, guided by Goldsmith’s leadership.

“As a captain, I take on the responsibilities of keeping everyone on task, teaching the younger runners, and improving the comradeship and spirit of the team,” Goldsmith said. “I enjoy the added responsibility because I feel that I am making an impact in the running careers of others, as well as I am able to be a role model for the underclassmen runners.”

Even though he is running better than ever before, Goldsmith remains humble. He has not reached his goals yet and is intent on leading the cross-country team to a top-3 finish at counties and to qualify for states. It is this hungry, yet humble demeanor that makes the team want to follow him.

“Matt is the kind of person that you respect and admire but doesn’t think of himself as better than anyone else,” Dong said. “He’ll crack jokes and try to make everyone feel comfortable then be able to turn around and hammer out a few miles with total dedication.”

Goldsmith is nowhere near satisfied. He intends to break 16:15 for a 5k, be a top 10 runner in the county, and finish in the top 25 at states. Goldsmith sets high standards for himself, but his work ethic makes his goals more than reasonable. He hopes to carry his strong senior season into college, where he aspires to potentially walk onto a Division I cross-country team and set a precedent for future CHS runners.

“With the departure of last year’s seniors, Matthew has taken on a huge leadership role in his senior year as a bridge between old and new,” cross-country coach Paul Jacobson said.

As Goldsmith prepares to transition into his last few months as a CHS runner, he has learned many valuable lessons from distance running, and will continue to push through any challenges that may face him.

“I have learned perseverance because in running you don’t always see results right away,” Goldsmith said. “Not every race is your best and sometimes you don’t run good times for weeks. I’ve even had entire seasons where I push myself every day and do not see any improvements when I race. I just know I have to get back to training and eventually the results will come.”