The weekend of March 11 — 12 found Matt Marion in Columbus, Ohio, running the pentathlon in the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track National Championships. His final score of 3,452 points earned him the ninth in the nation, just missing what would have been his second All-American Honor. Seven days earlier, he won the pentathlon at the Eastern Regional Athletic Conference, breaking the school record for
a triple jump, 13.28 meters the pentathlon which he set in 2008. He also broke the Armory Track Division III Facility record that day.
“The biggest competitor you can ever have is yourself. You have to be motivated to beat the times and excel at the goals you set for yourself,” said Marion.
A fourth year Mechanical Engineering major, Marion has been involved in track and field since his freshman year at Honeoye Falls-Lima High School. Much to the prodding of his gym teacher, who was also the track coach, he ran both winter and spring cross-country and track. He broke several of his high school’s records in his time there.
Never one to crave attention, Marion cringes at the mention of his athletic accomplishments, even with nearly eight years and twelve seasons of track under his belt. Proud of their son, his parents try to attend his meets whenever they can, and talk about his successes incessantly.
“I have always been shy and nervous, ever since I was younger. [But] my parents are always talking about me and it’s nice to have someone speaking up,” he said.
He wasn’t nervous though, when he decided to come to RIT over SUNY Binghamton to major in Mechanical Engineering. He knew he liked science and math, and this was a career he felt was a “safe bet” with RIT on the forefront of technology. “I do show my artistic side once in a while,” Marion said, chuckling, noting that he enjoys graphic design as a hobby.
When he is not rising early to co-op at Arnold Magnetic Technologies, where he is trying to design a newer manufacturing process, he enjoys eating dinner with his girlfriend, who also competed at the National Championship.
“My girlfriend also went for the 800-[meter] … I wonder how many couples make it to Nationals together,” he said.
He credits his success to his parents and coaches, both in high school and here at RIT, calling them as his biggest inspiration.
“Back home, everyone knows of my accomplishments. I try to email my coaches every now and again, but they already know about it, before I even tell them,” he said with a smile.
Before graduating next May, he hopes he will have the chance to compete unattached. This means he would train with the team, but wouldn’t represent RIT in competitions.
“I want to focus on my classes next year, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.
As for after graduation, he still hopes to be remain active and plans on running
pentathlons triathlons every now and again.