Albert outruns the competition

by Scott Schleisman

Senior Matt Albert is focused, successful and hard working. And he does it all with a smile on his face.

He’s a lot like one of his role models.

“Magic Johnson always had a fire inside of him to win, was successful within the team concept and accomplished so much with a smile on his face,” Albert said.

Positive role models and determination have helped Albert become a national track qualifier and a dedicated teammate.

“His father instilled his competitive nature,” said Wayne Stacy, mens track coach. “All I’ve done is try to guide Matt’s talent to where he will have the most success.”

Albert was a three-sport athlete at Defiance College, Ohio, before he focused on track and transferred to Simpson.

Albert said choosing one sport allowed him to eat right, get sleep and work harder during training. Albert played basketball and soccer to keep in shape for track.

“For the first time in my life, all my competitiveness is directed into one sport,” Albert said.

This focus has allowed Albert to get a pair of firsts and a pair of second’s in the two outdoor track meets so far this season.

This year, Albert is running the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. Albert has always preferred the 110, however, with Stacy’s guidance, Albert has put more emphasis into the 400 this season.

“Matt’s best chance to go back to nationals is in the 400 hurdles,” Stacy said. “You can have a bad start or knick a few hurdles and still make the qualifying time.”

Albert believes Stacy has aided him with the most by helping him understand that there is no perfect race.

“Matt is so competitive that he would easily get down on himself if his time wasn’t quite what he hoped,” Stacy said.

Albert’s outdoor times do not qualify nationally yet, but Stacy believes they will.

“Matt can do anything he wants to do,” Stacy said. “He can make the Olympic Trials if he dedicates himself to it.”

Albert believes his success is directly related to Stacy’s guidance.

“Everything Coach has told me has always come true,” Albert said. “I’ve bought into his system because it is perfect for me.”

Stacy’s system is so good for Albert that when he came to Simpson from Defiance, Albert transferred here too. He admits to not knowing where Simpson was before agreeing to come here.

Despite only being in the program a year, he’s become the ultimate team player.

“There is no worse feeling then letting your teammates down, especially if you are an anchor in a relay,” Albert said.

Albert will graduate majoring in business administration and computer information systems this spring. His future plans include becoming a graduate assistant, getting an MBA and he is entertaining the idea of aiming for the Olympic trials.

“Right now, my first priority is the team,” Albert said.

Albert is competitive, a team player and has fun on the track and in the classroom. Albert has acquired the very traits of his role model, Magic Johnson.