Cross country captain at home on the run

Student Spotlight
Matt Giannino, fifth-year mechanical engineering technology student

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Terry Perrone

Matt Giannino, left, races past opponents.

Matt Giannino, a fifth-year mechanical engineering technology student, is a captain of the men’s cross country team and was recently named the Liberty League Runner of the Week. The Syracuse, N.Y., native also runs for the men’s track team and is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. The Tiger’s next race is the Geneseo Invitational, which takes place Oct. 4 at Letchworth State Park.

Question: What brought you to RIT?
Answer: RIT accepted me through early decision by accident, then revoked that acceptance and accepted me again in February. I figured I had to go if I got accepted twice.

Q: Why did you choose to major in mechanical engineering technology?
A: I took a personality test in high school and it said I was going to be an engineer or librarian. I loved computers and hated libraries, so I figured I would give computer-aided engineering a shot.

Q: Why do you love to run?
A: I actually dread running. But I’ve found you can see quite a lot after running 10 miles. I’ve been on some amazing adventures running—one time, I got lost in Washington, D.C., and Virginia for five hours.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of cross country?
A: Cross country is great because you are racing through trails with hundreds of other people all at once. The practices and races have only one focus and one race, as opposed to a track meet which may have more than 20 different races and events in one day.

Q: What are looking forward to most this season?
A: I am looking forward to our November Tiger Den event before regionals this year. I think it will be great to have our school supporting us during our biggest race. The women’s team has a chance to make RIT history if they qualify for the NCAA championship.

Q: What have been some of the highlights of your career as a runner?
A: I’ve been awarded Liberty League honors 10 times over the last three seasons, but I still have more goals that I would like to accomplish.

Q: Is it hard to balance your time between class and running?
A: It hasn’t been a big problem. I work better when I have no free time. I just like to be busy all the time.

Q: What are you most excited for about graduation?
A: I am very excited to see what the future holds. There are many paths that I can take and it will be interesting to see which one I choose.

Q: How would you sum up your years spent at RIT?
A: I would say that my time at RIT has been regret-free. I am very happy with how I progressed as an engineer, student, runner and person.

Derrick Hunt compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him at with suggestions.