Mattson makes her mark at Bentley

Mattson makes her mark at Bentley

Smithfield native Stephanie Mattson, shown competing in the long jump during an outdoor track and field meet, recently graduated from Bentley University with 13 school records and her first Northeast-10 championship this past spring in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 4 1/2 inches.
Ex-Smithfield All-Stater exits Falcons’ track and field program with 13 records, numerous honors

SMITHFIELD – When Stephanie Mattson graduated from Smithfield High in 2015, she wrapped up a truly outstanding career with the Sentinels’ track and field program that saw her receive All-State honors and help lead the girls’ outdoor team to the state championship in her final RIIL meet.

That being said, Mattson could have easily continued her athletic career at a Division I college, and one of the schools that had offered her a scholarship was Quinnipiac University.

But academics, not athletics, topped her list of priorities as she was deciding where she wanted to spend the next four years of her life.

She wanted to study actuarial science – the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the business world – and Bentley University, a Division II school in Waltham, Mass., gave her the best option to pursue that goal.

The valedictorian of her SHS class, Mattson not only attended Bentley, but also joined the Falcons’ track and field program, and she ended up producing one of the greatest careers in the school’s history.

Not only did Mattson conclude her exceptional career by setting 13 school records, with eight of those coming during the indoor season, but she also made changes to the Falcons’ record book 36 times, with 14 of those taking place in her senior year.

She broke the indoor records in all the distances from 60 to 600 meters, the outdoor records in the 200 and 400, and the indoor and outdoor long jump and triple jump marks.

She also captured her first Northeast-10 championship this past spring by capturing the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 4½ inches, and her impressive resume also includes four NE-10 second-place finishes and five All-New England awards.

And that’s not all. She was recently named Bentley’s Outstanding Female Senior Athlete of the Year, and she is the university’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

But more importantly, Mattson also graduated summa cum laude with a magnificent 3.98 grade-point average, as well as with bachelor’s degrees in actuarial science and business studies.

Yes, Mattson’s plate has been full the past four years, and last month, she took a well-deserved vacation in Europe that lasted nearly three weeks and paraded her through Norway, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany.

When Mattson finally came home, the honors continued to roll in. On June 26, Mattson earned one of college athletics’ premier honors by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) when she earned 2019 Google Cloud NCAA Division II Academic All-American Second-Team honors.

A five-time Academic NE-10 selection and NCAA provisional qualifier, Mattson finally took some time to step back, look at her long list of accomplishments on and off the track, and talk about her four years at Bentley, as well as her professional future, which promises to pick up steam next month.

“I will be starting full-time in the Actuarial Development Program at John Hancock in August,” she noted. “To pursue an actuarial career, you must pass a series of seven exams to be accredited by the Society of Actuaries. I have passed the first three, and will continue to study as part of the Development Program.”

A seven-time All-Region selection, Mattson had experienced quite a few memorable moments with the Falcons, and she shared a few that readily came to mind.

“My most memorable include breaking 56 seconds in the 400-meter dash, jumping over 40 feet in the triple jump, and long jumping over 19 feet for the first time,” she said. “I jumped over 40 feet at the NE-10 championship this year, with many friends, teammates, and my parents there to celebrate.”

“That moment was very memorable, as my jump was a national provisional qualifier, and almost a foot over my current personal record,” she continued. “Long jumping over 19 feet for the first time was also memorable, as I had been working towards that goal since I had jumped 18 feet at the (RIIL) state meet in my senior year of high school. It was a long time coming and very exciting to finally reach my goal.”

Mattson admitted that she’s still a little surprised at all the records and achievements she compiled over the past four years. Yes, everything she accomplished hadn’t been easy, but it was all her hard work and determination that helped paved the way for an exceptional athletic career.

“I would have never imagined accomplishing some of the things I have,” she reported, “like jumping 40 feet in the triple jump, being an NE-10 champion, consistently breaking my own school records, or most recently, being named an Academic All-American.”

“When I look back on my accomplishments, I’m so proud of all my hard work and so grateful that it paid off,” she added. “It wouldn’t have been possible without everyone who supported me along the way!”