Alumna places 26th in world championship

By Kelly Manalo, Staff Writer


Professional runner and Eagle alumna Mattie Suver ranked 26th in the 8 kilometer race for the 2013 World Cross Country Championships in Poland.

Suver represented Team USA in Poland, qualifying because she is among the top six in the nation in the 10K.

“It’s surreal. You look down and see your red, white and blue jersey. I never really thought I would be there, looking back at high school. It was definitely an honor wearing the USA jersey,” said Suver.

The cross country courses in Europe are more rugged than in the US, according to Suver. “Over there, anything goes, through the mud, up giant hills, streams, snow, anything and everything, over barriers. It’s comical. It’s just a mess, but it was a lot of fun.”

Suver came to Eastern as a freshman walk-on in 2005 and left as a national contender, according to distance coach Christopher Zeller.

Suver admits that in high school she was not a stand out at all. “Hard work pays off. You can do anything, really,” said Suver.

Suver only ran cross country her senior year of high school and the only Division I school that offered her a position was Eastern, according to Suver.

Each week Suver runs 85 to 90 miles. “98 per week is my highest, I still haven’t gotten over 100 a week. I believe in quality over quantity,” said Suver.

At 1,500 meters, Suver’s personal best is 4 minutes, 25.04 seconds, 3,000 meter 9:17.49, 5,000 meter 16:02.48, 15,000 meter 50:30 and for the half marathon 73:14, according to the American Distance Project roster.

Suver is an incredibly hard worker and pays attention to all the little things, according to Zeller. “Putting in a ton of mileage, eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, all of it,” said Zeller.

“I remember being at a meet at the Oregon relays and there were a handful of Olympians in the elite section of the 5,000 meters we were watching. [Suver] and her teammate looked at me and said, ‘We want to look like that.’ And it was the next year and she was in the same race as those girls. It was cool to have her know where she wanted to be and see her get there.”

Spring 2008, Suver placed 13th at the NCAA Championships as a redshirt sophomore.

After graduating from Eastern in 2008, Suver was still eligible to continue running collegiately with the University of Oregon, while getting her master’s in exercise physiology.

“This is my first year doing cross-country since college. It’s a different experience. This spring I’ll get on the track, focus on the 10K and hopefully get some good half marathons in,” said Suver.

The main events Suver trains for are the 10K to half marathon. As an Adidas sponsored athlete, Suver wears all Adidas gear and wears their jersey at all races. She is also sponsored by Boulder Running Company.

After placing third at the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country meet in Scotland in January, Suver made it her goal to make the world team.

“My goal is to keep improving my own [personal records]. And having fun along the way, as long as I’m enjoying it.” Suver’s ultimate dream is to go to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Currently, Suver runs full time for the American Distance Project and is coached by Scott Simmons. “I decided to focus on running and give that my all and see where I can go with that.”