ATHLETE PROFILE: Diane Mattingly

As the school record holder for the 400-meter dash, sophomore Diane Mattingly is already making her mark at Carnegie Mellon on the women’s track and field team. The Tartan sat down with Mattingly as she discussed her interesting start in running races and her challenges as a scholar-athlete.

The Tartan: When did you first take an interest in track and field? Did anyone else in your family participate in this sport?
Mattingly: When I was in elementary school, we had county relays, where we used pieces of hose for the baton and jumped over haybales. I guess that’s the first time I ran a race. My mom used to run when she was in grade school, and [she] competed at a state level.

T: Besides your own, which events do you like to watch at meets or wish that you could try?
M: I think everyone wants to try the steeplechase. [There’s] something about jumping into a water pit [that] makes a 3K more interesting.

T: Since track competes for most of the year during the indoor and outdoor seasons, do you feel it helps your time management? If so, how?
M: It definitely tests my time management. Work is not an excuse to miss practice, and staying up late doesn’t help me perform. That means I have to buckle down during the week and focus so I have time to do everything I want to.

T: Do you have any pets?
M: We have two dogs and a cat. We used to have a bird, but then my dog ate it.

T: If you could transform into any animal, what would it be and why?
M: A ladybug because they’re lucky.

T: Is there a myth about life at Carnegie Mellon that you have either found to be true or found to be completely false?
M: You really can steal a chair from Baker and roll down the halls late at night. But bring friends — you go faster when they push you.

T: What is your favorite part about your major? If you had the chance to study another area, what would it be?
M: My favorite part is being able to do research within the department. If I could study something else it might be taking a baking class or design class. Something completely opposite of engineering.

T: Where have your favorite meets been?
M: I’d love to qualify for nationals one day, but meets like Kent State, Bucknell, and UAAs all offer amazing competition.

T: Where do you like to travel or hope to travel to in the future outside of track meets?
M: [I’d like to] travel to the moon because even if I fall I’ll land among the stars.

Mattingly and her teammates next compete at home at Gesling Stadium on Tuesday during the Carnegie Mellon Tri-Meet.