Rock Bridge Senior Signs With Syracuse

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | 12:00 p.m. CDT; updated 3:27 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 22, 2009

COLUMBIA — Matty Bennett didn’t grow tired of running after spending a summer at an extreme wilderness camp. Actually, his time at the camp made him love running more. One day at the camp, Bennett ran about thirty miles.

Bennett went to Steens Mountain the summer before his freshman year at Rock Bridge.  

 “I really enjoyed the camp and went back a second time before my junior year,” Bennett said.

Bennett, a distance runner for the Bruins, will  continue his love of running by signing today with Syracuse University.

Bennett applied to five schools and narrowed it down to Saint Louis University and Syracuse.  

“Syracuse was overall the best school for me," Bennett said.  "I wanted to go to the best team possible where I could become the best runner possible."

Academics also played an important role in his decision.  Bennett wants to major in secondary education, and Syracuse had a good academic program as well as a good running program.

Bennett’s coach, Neal Blackburn, has coached Bennett in cross-country and track for four years.

He tells Bennett “It is not really the mountaintop experience but the journey to get to the mountaintop.”

At Syracuse, Bennett will be seeking to reach a new height.

Blackburn has given Bennett advice over the years but one piece of advice stuck with Bennett that he will carry with him to Syracuse.

“Run with intelligence, bravery and heart.”



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