Athlete Feature: Matthew Lambert

For some, running is viewed as a punishment, but to Matt Lambert ’24 it is part of who he is as a person. Since middle school, running has been part of his life and will continue to contribute in a positive and uplifting way. Track and cross country both require a lot of dedication and commitment and Lambert has shown that in more ways than one. Lambert usually runs up to 65 miles per week in the summer and around 45 miles a week during the season, clearly showing his desire to continue to improve his times. In track and field, Lambert participates in the 1500 meter, 500  meter, 400 meter hurdles, and the 3000 meter steeplechase. As a first-year in his first collegiate track meet against rival Babson College, Lambert placed first in the 5000 meter with a time of 16:53. That time was a whole minute and six seconds faster than second-place Babson runner Tre Simmons. 

Beyond his athletic prowess, Lambert is a visual arts major, with an innovative way of thinking to manifest artistic masterpieces. In his first year of eligibility, Lambert was named to the NEWMAC Men’s Cross Country Academic All-Conference team for his hard work inside and outside of the classroom. 

Lambert loves to eat pasta before every meet and has changed music tastes based on his mood at the time. Over the recent years, he had shifted to more R&B music and 2000s throwbacks to hype himself up for a big meet ahead. His favorite memory from cross country and track at Wheaton so far is the 2021 NEWMAC Men’s Track and Field Championships. Lambert ran the 3000 meter steeplechase for the Lyons and made it his mission to score for the team. During the race, Lambert was running in the middle of the pack. As the race progressed, he found his footing and started making up ground, eventually sitting in 7th place during the final stretch of the event. Lambert then dug in and passed Babson junior, Collin Regan, to place 6th with a time of 10:43 and earn a point for the team. That time was 5th all-time in Wheaton College (Mass.) history for the 3000 meter steeplechase. 

Since high school wasn’t enough, running in college was something that Lambert knew he wanted to do. Being on an elite high school team allowed him to see others be recruited by Division I schools. Lambert chose Division III for academic reasons, and the desire to run regardless of the division. There was always a goal to work towards, with a combination of fun and collaboration. The tight-knit community at the beginning of his running career has stayed true since his arrival at Wheaton. Even with a Covid filled season last year, Lambert was able to create strong bonds with the distance runners, which is a value that he treasures about running as a sport, and with the support of his teammates his growth is truly boundless. 

For Lambert, his talents go far beyond just running track and cross country, from being a talented artist to a truly kind and gracious person. If you need a smile or a laugh, Lambert is the person to go to, being an endless ray of positivity that works hard towards his goals. As a visual arts major, Lambert spends hours in the studio perfecting his work, which shows who he really is as a person. Lambert is a self-motivated and driven individual who has one of the most creative minds on campus, and is always willing to accept the obstacle at hand with an attitude that few possess. With his eyes always set on the next challenge, Lambert hopes to continue to improve going into the next track season in the spring. The principles Lambert holds true to himself not only contribute to his success as a runner and a scholar but will assist him well in life. The future may be uncertain but for Lambert there will always be one true constant: running.