Jake's Journal: Matt Tegenkamp

By Katie DeLong

MADISON – Runner Matt Tegenkamp of Madison won the preliminary round of the 5,000 meter race Wednesday. Sure, he’s fast, but he was slow to fall in love with the sport. Not that long ago, the Olympics were the last thing on Tegenkamp’s mind. Tegenkamp had just joined his middle school running team…when his parents went on vacation. “I was going to quit while they were gone and my mom forced me to stay in at least until we started racing and once we started racing, that’s when I really got hooked,” Tegenkamp said. Tegenkamp’s wife and several family members are in Beijing to cheer him on. He’s trying to prevent his emotions from affecting his focus. “We know it’s something big, but as long as we approach the meet like any other meet, things have turned out well for us over the past three years, and if we do what we’ve done, we should continue to see success,” Tegenkamp said. Tegenkamp runs in the finals on Saturday…but no matter what happens, he wants to run again in the 2012 Olympics.