Junior Matt Rychel
Junior Matt Rychel
SXU - Wed, Mar. 23, 2011

Rychel is a junior on the SXU cross country and track teams from Tinley Park, Ill. He qualified for Nationals all three seasons for track and one season for cross country. Rychel also completed Saint Xavier's accounting program in two and a half years, and is finishing up his honors senior project. He recently began taking graduate classes to pursue a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance next fall.

Why did you choose to come to Saint Xavier?
I chose Saint Xavier University, because Coach Ed McAllister recruited me for cross country and because I would receive both athletic and academic scholarships. My parents both grew up in Mount Greenwood, so I was familiar with the school and the area.

What are your goals for this season?

My goals for this track season are to run under 3:55 in the 1500 at Nationals and to help our 4x800 meter relay team qualify for Nationals.
What do you think you contribute to the Athletic Program?

I think I contribute character and leadership to the Athletic Program. As a student-athlete, I try to excel year-round, both academically and athletically. I'm supportive of others and keep a good attitude. All the juniors on our team are great leaders in a variety of ways, and I try to lead by example. Half of our team is freshmen, so I try to show them that if you want to succeed, you have to be dedicated and work hard every day at practice.

Do you have any Pre-game Rituals?
Not really. I try to relax as much as possible before a race. I also make sure my shoes are at least triple-knotted because I've had some bad experiences with my laces becoming untied in races.

Who would you say is your favorite athlete?

One of my favorite athletes is Chris Solinsky. I think he'll be the runner who leads the way for America to catch up to the Kenyans and Ethiopians in distance running.

What is your involvement on campus?

I am the Vice President of the Business Student Association. I am in charge of the organization's finances and help plan career development events, trips to places such as the Federal Reserve, and our mentoring program with Thorton high school students involved in Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship. I also serve on the Honors Program Student Advisory Council.

Do you have a favorite quote/ motto to live by?
"Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it."
Who would you say is your role model?
My dad is my role model. He always encourages me to work hard and do my best, and he works hard to support our family. My dad can do anything and can be very funny too. My mom and dad come support me at almost every race. I am very thankful for everything they do for me.
Tell us an embarrassing or funny moment that happened during practice or a game?

Last year at conference, somebody put fish in the steeplechase pit as a prank. Halfway through the meet, my teammate Buck Hill walked up to the water jump and used a javelin to spear a fish. He then paraded around the track on his way back to our camp as everyone watched in awe. That's one of the funniest moments from track, and we joked that Buck was the first spearfishing conference champ.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am currently taking classes in Saint Xavier's MBA program in Finance. I plan to become a CPA and start a career in accounting or finance.