Feb. 23, 2016
By Jake Maier ’17
Freshman standout Matthew Grauslys talks high school orchestra and his tips for fishing at ND. Oh, and he mentions his plans to swim in the 2016 Olympic Trials.
You were first chair and section leader of the violin section, in your high school orchestra?
“I started playing the violin in third grade and I played until I was a senior in high school. I can play any song that I can whistle, but it takes me awhile. I can whistle pretty much any song that I hear on the radio, that didn’t really help me in orchestra though because I didn’t listen to classical music. I’m kind of a whistling pro.”
Have you ever been paid to whistle?
“No, I guess I’m not a professional.”
Who is your goofiest teammate?
“Kevin Bradley, he is a legend in New England for his green goggles. He wears these bright green Speedo Junior Glide goggles and they stopped manufacturing them a few years ago so he bought all of the remaining pairs so he could keep using them.”
You regularly competed against Kevin Bradley in high school back in Massachusetts, what is your fondest memory of racing him?
“I beat him in the 100 fly and the 200 fly at separate meets. In December of my sophomore year I beat him for the first time, that was in the 100 fly. The next summer I beat him in July in the 200 fly. It was really one of the defining moments of my career – beating my longtime archrival.”
What sold you on Notre Dame?
“My recruiting trip was the weekend when we beat Michigan 37-0. By the time the two-day visit was over I was set on coming here. It also helped that Trent Jackson was the best host I had on any of my recruiting trips. I watched Rudy right away when I returned home, and then when I signed with ND I made all my friends come back to my house and watch it with me.”
You have already qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials in 2 events, what are your expectations for this summer?
“I want to make the semi-finals in the 200 fly. That’s the top 16. I’m going to train on campus because I have summer. I’m focused on ACCs right now, but I feel very prepared because of my extensive training. I didn’t have a great pool to swim at before I came here. It was 4Â½ feet deep and four lanes wide. Once I got two black eyes because I hit my face on the bottom diving in. Having all these resources at Notre Dame has really helped me step up my training and get to the next level.”
You showed up to a recent meet with a black eye, swimming is usually considered a non-contact sport. What happened?
“I swam into one of my teammates. I like to tell people it was a game of chicken, but it was really just an accident.”
Did you do any other sports besides swimming?
“I played on the first ever volleyball team at my high school. We didn’t even lose all of our games! I was the center.”
Would you say there’s good fishing at ND?
“I went fishing with Steven Shek and I caught a 10 pound carp in Saint Mary’s Lake. I was using some bread I brought from the huddle. That’s the biggest fish I’ve ever caught, which is rather surprising.”
Which of the 7 dwarves best describes you?
“Sleepy. On average, I fell asleep about 10 times every chemistry class.”
If you could be any Disney Princess, which one would you be?
“Pocahontas, I think I can connect to her the most out of all the Disney Princesses.”
Do you have any superstitions?
“I used to wear wool socks to my swim meets, but that isn’t very cool.”
Who is your favorite professional swimmer?