Athlete of the Week (Oct. 9-13): Shelby Matheson

ROCKINGHAM — Shelby Matheson has been named the Daily Journal’s Athlete of the Week for the week of Monday, Oct. 9.

Matheson is a senior runner for the Richmond girls cross country team who finished 12th, with a time of 24:16, in the Sandhills Athletic Conference’s pre-championship race last Tuesday at the Pinecrest Elk Lodge in Southern Pines. She had the team’s second-best time — behind sophomore Ariel Brown — and helped the Lady Raiders come in second place.

The soon-to-be graduate also had a strong performance at the Smithfield-Selma Invitational, on Saturday, Oct. 7, where she placed ninth in another Lady Raider runners-up finish. Matheson received a medal for placing in the top 15.

“This year, I’ve gotten a lot better. I actually PR’ed (personal record) at 23:23 at the beginning of the season,” Matheson said. “I think the team this year has bonded really well…I’m so proud.”

Currently the high school’s valedictorian, Matheson boasts a 5.12 GPA and recently sent in a college application to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she hopes to major in biology on the pre-med track in order to become a pediatrician.

“She’s the true defintion of a student-athlete. On the way back from meets, she does her homework on the bus — and that’s every meet.” head cross country coach Reggie Miller said. “She shows you why she’s No. 1 in her class.”

Matheson, who also plays basketball and soccer, will help the girls cross country team cap off its season at the conference championship race Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Pinecrest Elk Lodge.

“From her ninth grade year until now, she’s turned into a great runner,” Miller added. “She’s the kind of person you want as a captain on the team. Someday, she’ll make a great coach.”

Below are Matheson’s answers to five of the questions presented by the Daily Journal:

Q: What’s your favorite sports memory so far?

A: The championship game against Pinecrest last year for soccer. That was one of the most intense games I’ve ever played. We came so close to beating Pinecrest…it was incredible.

Q: What or who do you listen to before a game?

A: Usually before games I listen to Christian music, and I pray, so it gets me motivated. The song “Even If” by Mercy Me, that’s one of my favorites.

Q: What do you like to do outside of sports?

A: Usually if I’m not in practice, I’m running around on my own or working out or going to church.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?

A: It’s between “McFarland, USA” or “She’s the Man”

Q: Whos’ your biggest influence?

A: Coach Brown (assistant cross country coach) because he’s super motivated and keeps all of us motivated.