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TRACK AND FIELD: Mary Beth Mathews sold by second visit, signs with UMD

Sometimes, you just know. That’s what Bemidji High School senior Mary Beth Mathews felt when she toured the campus of Minnesota Duluth for the second time.

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Bemidji High School senior Mary Beth Mathews signs her National Letter of Intent to run track at Minnesota Duluth on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Bemidji High School.
Christian Babcock / Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – Sometimes, you just know.

That’s what Bemidji High School senior Mary Beth Mathews felt when she toured the campus of Minnesota Duluth for the second time. And now, she’s signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her education there – as well as her exploits on the track.

“I went back a second time recently and toured around the athletic facilities and I just totally felt that I was just going to be a great fit there,” Mathews said. “Right after I left the campus, I just immediately knew that I totally wanted to go there.

It wasn’t simply the campus that drew her to Duluth. The city itself also played a large role.

“I really just love the town itself and the city,” Matthews said. “It's pretty much just like a big Bemidji. I had visited (several) colleges in total, and UMD is just the one that I felt the most comfortable at. It just has everything academically and athletically for me.”

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Also a Nordic skier for the Lumberjacks, Duluth’s numerous outdoor trails intrigued Mathews as she pictured spending her college career there.

“It just has everything,” Mathews said. “There's so many things to do, and I feel like you could never get bored. It's super outdoorsy and really fits my vibe, and it's a really beautiful city.”

On the track, Mathews will compete in the 4x400-meter relay, as well as potentially some 200-meter events and the triple jump.

“I'm really an open book when it comes to events,” she said.

But her specialty will be the 4x400, and she has designs on helping form UMD into a powerful contender in that distance.“I've talked to (UMD head coach Karly Brautigam) about building the program for the 400,” Mathews said. “And she wants to be really dominant in the 400 in our conference or against other colleges. And so that's one of my goals, is to build the program for mid-distance running at UMD.”

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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