Athlete feature: Redlands East Valley runner Matthew Barnett goes the extra mile


Throughout his high school career, Matthew Barnett, a senior at Redlands East Valley High School, has been a runner on the cross-country varsity team. He has been cross-country captain for three years and has earned “Coach’s Award” three times.

In the first Citrus Belt League meet, Barnett earned 3rd place with a time of 16:17.2. In the second meet, Barnett beat his previous time, clocking in at 16:16.8.

Barnett stated, “A common misconception is that running is easy, but it is not. You really have to push yourself to the limits…”

Barnett has competed in the California Interscholastic Federation preliminaries two times and the CIF finals once. Barnett has also participated in track and field.

In the Woodbridge High School Cross-Country Classic, Barnett gained a personal record with a time of 16:06.2.

Barnett runs in a cross country meet. (Courtesy of Matthew Barnett)

Barnett recalls his most memorable match as the Arcadia Invite 4x mile.  “It is one of the biggest and prestigious meets in the nation,” he said.

Barnett shared that his team’s proudest moment was making it to the CIF Finals. For the 2018-19 school year, they plan on going to state for cross country.

Every semester he has been named a “scholar athlete.” He values getting an education just as much he values sports, since he is unable to compete without earning proficient grades.  After graduating from high school, he plans to attend a four-year college in California or in his home-state of Texas. In college, he plans to continue to run.

As he faces challenges, such as balancing school and sports, he continues to persevere by seeking his brother as inspiration. His brother inspires him since he is also a runner, competes in big meets and has achieved many great accomplishments.

From his experiences as a student-athlete, the most important lesson that Barnett has learned is that hard work does pay off.

After competing in the Arcadia Invitationals in 2017, Matthew Barnett (far right) and his teammates (left to right: Eli Opsahl, Matt Casillas, and Cole Cooper)  take a photo on April 6, 2018. At the Arcadia Invitationals, Matthew Barnett earns a time of 18:31.25. (Courtesy of Matthew Barnett)

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