Feature Story on Reed Mathews
Having older siblings can be a pain for most. For others, growing up and having someone to model after gives them joy. At times it is very easy to feel as though there is a standard to live up to but what some see as a challenge— many see as an opportunity. As for swimmer Reed Mathews, the opportunity is clear as day. Mathews, who has grown up in a household with a mother that encouraged learning how to swim at an early age, has always looked up to his big sister as a role model.
“My sister (Kelly) also swam in college,” Mathews said. “She was the one who encouraged me to keep swimming when I was younger because there were a couple of times when I almost quit. She played an important part in my swim career.”
As stated previously, swimming was something Reed’s mother encouraged both him and his sister to learn. He went from testing out the waters to falling deeply in love with the sport and when he was just 7 years old he started to swim competitively year-round. Reed is very dedicated to what he does because he truly loves the sport.
He has proven his dedication by working day in and day out and ultimately breaking records. Coming into the team out of high school he carried their league record in the 100 fly. As for Mathews’ time here, he has added the pool record at the J. C. “Scrap” Chandler pool and the team record in the 200 fly to his list. When Mathews spoke on his team, he talked about how inspired he is by his teammates. He pointed out that they really like to work hard and keep each other motivated to stay strong and swim fast.
“I like how we can come together when it matters most— for a swim meet. At ECU, we were all on the same page and all brought the same energy and that’s how we ended up winning that meet when we were the underdogs,” Mathews said.
Setting goals whether it be for a sport’s team or life in general is beneficial for growth. Even with the accomplishments Reed has earned thus far, he continues to set additional goals to become better. He hopes to place as high as he can at conferences, medal in the 200 fly, and make it to the NCAA meet in the 200 fly in the near future.
“Overall in the next two years, I’d like to get faster and try and do the best I can for my team,” Mathews said.
One of the hardest aspects of being on a team is the time commitment according to Mathews. High school athletes need to prepare for the tough transition into college athletics. There will be fun times and there will definitely be hard times but it is all for the love of the sport. Reed had a few words for younger athletes who may want to follow in his footsteps.
“Keep working hard and surround yourself with people who are going to work hard with you,” Mathews said. “That’s really important because it’s easy to work hard when there are others working with you.”