Gustie of the Week: Matt Strom

Taylor Storlien-

Gustie of the Week Matt Strom is a Senior Mathematics major on the swim team, who hails from Rochester, Minnesota. He can create a connection with just about anyone: “He has made an impression not only on this campus but also on every other soul he has come into contact with in his time on the hill,” Senior Sam Haseth said. Randomly selected as each other’s first-year roommates, Haseth and Strom were fast friends: “Straight away from day one, we just kind of clicked, I guess. Matt has a way of bringing joy to those around him. No matter who it is, he finds a way to get along with them and be a kind, respectful, intelligent, and insanely hilarious person,” Haseth said.

Both in and out of the pool, he strives to achieve his goals using the skills he picked up while being a part of Gustavus’ Men’s Swim and Dive team. Strom explains that athletics has given him the opportunity to be more well-rounded but also develop important skills: “It has taught me the value of hard work and discipline and helped me to develop strong time management skills. It also showed me the importance of being a part of the team,” Strom said. He went on to explain that swimming is a team sport despite what others may say, “Even though swimming is seen as more of an individual sport, the team is very important. We push each other, celebrate victories, and get through losses together. Without the team, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Strom said.

To his friends, through whatever he does, he remains humble and hardworking, “…he absolutely goes above and beyond in anything and everything he does, all the time. Matt is a man who excels at any skill he takes on, and still remains a humbled, reverential individual the whole time,” Haseth said. Fellow teammate and Senior Peyton Richardson remembers seeing Strom “… win every one of his races at the MIAC Championships each year to watching him out split everyone in the conference relay with his goggles in his mouth,” Richardson said.

Strom lives by the mantra “I am capable of anything I put my mind to.” This is reflected in his swimming accolades, as he was recently MIAC Swimmer of the Week in January. At Grinnell College, he broke the 100M Backstroke record. But above these, he was named the MIAC Co-Swimmer of the Year on the Men’s side, as he tied for the most points in the individual events for men.

Through swim, he has been able to maintain meaningful connections with those around him.

“I would say that mine and Matt’s friendship grew stronger through our friend group on the swim team as well as the countless hours we have spent in the pool,” Richardson said. He can balance being both a friend and a teammate, and, as Richardson said “…he has an ability to inspire his teammates while also pushing them to do their best each day.”

Richardson reflects that Matt is an amazing person, especially once he comes out of his shell. “Matt is a very intelligent person who may come off as quiet or reserved at first, but once you get to know him as a person, friend, and teammate, you know you will enjoy every second you spend with him. #StromSpecial,” Richardson said.

As he closes out his time here at Gustavus, Strom looks back on his fondest memories. “It would be impossible to pick a single favorite moment, even if you gave me all the time in the world to think about it. I could pick a thousand favorite moments from spending time with my friends and teammates inside and outside the pool,” Strom said.

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