AUSTIN, TEXAS, March 28-30—When the wider track & field world first became aware of high schooler Matthew Boling (Strake, Houston), he seemed like a pretty promising prospect in the 400 who could jump a little too, running 47.38 and jumping 23-11 as a soph in ’17. Last year he uniquely earned No. 5 All-America status in both events, and with marks of 46.15 and 23-11½ (plus 24-2¾w), his future as a Georgia Bulldog seemed to be in the quartermile.
But March 2019 has marked the unveiling of Boling 2.0. After years away from the short sprints, he suddenly became a hot topic when he burned up nation-leading marks of 10.22 and 20.58 at the Texas Southern Relays. He also burnished his jumping cred at two other meets by sneaking past 25 feet with PRs of 25-½ and 25-2½.
What to do for an encore? He headed to the most prestigious meet in the state, the Texas Relays, and delivered a master class in multitasking. On Friday night, he leaped past a lot of sand as well as history, opening at 25-7½w before reaching No. 7 on the all-time high school list with a 26-3½.
Less than 24 hours later, a stunning bolt from 5th or 6th up to an at-the-line 1st gave his 4×1 teammates a 40.86 victory (winning by a mere 0.007). Add in a dominating 10.20w win in the 100 and his place in the athletic lore of a state with plenty of it was secured.
“It’s great,” Boling says rather calmly of his newfound status as the talk of the nation. “It kind of makes me want to run better. Last year I got kind of nervous with all of the recruiting process and everything, but this year I’m just having fun with it and it really pushes me to do better.”
So is this the future? Is the quarter relegated to his past? What is Matthew Boling’s event? On the track: “Right now I think it’s the 1 and 2, but I really think I have the potential to go 45.0 in the 4, so I think that would make it my best race. But I’m not sure what I’m doing at District and State. But if I don’t run the 4, for sure I’ll go to a summer meet and run it.”
What he’s not doing is overtaxing himself. Rather than using him as a point machine, his coaches have tapped the brakes and only enter Boling in 2 or 3 events per meet. “I’ll take a break with the long jump occasionally,” he says. “I didn’t do a long jump for two weeks. That felt really nice. I could just come back fresh. Definitely that helped me in the long run. And I’ve been doing 1s and 2s and that was really nice to save my legs, because last season I competed all summer and I felt really tired by the end, but I still feel like I have a lot left right now.”
He brought those smarts to Austin, as well. Perhaps to the disappointment of Friday’s crowd, he hit his long jump stunner in the second round and then called it a night. “[I had to] conserve energy for today,” he explains. “I jump at District next Friday so I didn’t want to go too heavy. I wanted to have fun at this meet but I didn’t want to nail it down. That’s why we didn’t run a 4×4 either.”
Boling admits to being a little surprised with his long jump progression, but notes, “I knew I had the potential last year to go 25-high. I had a couple of jumps that I just barely scratched, but I ran off the board perfectly. For me it’s about if I attack the board or not. When I do it’s usually a far jump.”
Now fans have to wonder how much higher this meteoric rise can go. Boling has predictions. In the 100, “definitely 10.1-something. My start wasn’t too good. I kind of popped up with my trail leg.” And in the jump, Boling has been forced to rethink his goals. “In the beginning of the year it was 25-high, but now that I went 26, I’ll just shoot for 27 I guess, beat Marquise Goodwin’s national record [26-10]. That would be cool. I was just talking to him over there. He’s really cool.”
TEXAS HS BOYS RESULTS
Austin, Texas, March 28-30—
100(2.2): 1. Matthew Boling (Strake, Houston) 10.20w (10.21wh).
Div 1 100(1.5): 1. Ryan Martin (Stafford) 10.37.
800: 5. Crayton Carrozza (St Stephen’s, Austin) 1:50.64 (9 days too old to be eligible for Texas HS season).
2000St: 1. *William Muirhead (Lovejoy, Lucas) 6:03.19 (HSL).
110H(2.5): 1. TreVon Mays (Spring) 13.82 (13.78wh).
300H: 1. Ryan Williams (Bowie, Arlington) 36.85 (HSL),
4 x 100: 1. Strake 40.86 (Boling); 2. Duncanville 40.86; 3. Poly, Long Beach, Ca 40.91.
4 x 200: 1. Dunne, Dallas 1:25.54.
Div. I 4 x 200: 1. DeSoto 1:25.81;… dnf—Lancaster, Tx.
4 x 400: 1. DeSoto 3:12.90.
SpMed: 1. Poly, Long Beach, Ca 3:28.31.
HJ: 1. **Eli Stowers (Guyer, Denton) 6-10.
PV: 1. Max Manson (Monarch, Louisville, Co) 17-0; 2. Jacob Herrscher (Greenhill, Addison) 17-0.
LJ: 1. Boling 26-3½ (HSL) (7,11 HS) (25-7½w, 26-3½, p, p, p, p).
SP: 1. *Jeff Duensing (Esperanza, Anaheim, Ca) 65-3; 2. Patrick Piperi (The Woodlands) 64-10¾.
JT: 1. *Sam Hankins (Manhattan, Ks) 207-7 (HSL).
TEXAS HS GIRLS RESULTS
100(1.8): 1. De’Anna Nowling (Calababas, Ca) 11.43; 2. Kenondra Davis (Trimble, Ft Worth) 11.50.
3200: 1. **Brynn Brown (Guyer, Denton) 10:21.98.
100H(1.7): 1. Alia Armstrong (Drexel, New Orleans) 13.36 (HSL);
2. *Jayla Hollis (DeSoto) 13.83.
300H: 1. **Jalaysi’ya Smith (DeSoto) 42.14(HSL).
4 x 100: 1. DeSoto 45.69. Heats: IX–1. DeSoto 45.07 (HSL).
4 x 200: 1. Lancaster 1:38.27; 2. DeSoto 1:38.48. Heats: II–1. Desoto 1:38.04.
4 x 400: 1. DeSoto 3:39.81 (HSL).
4 x800: 1. DeSoto 9:14.70; 2. Flower Mound 9:20.
SpMed: 1. The Woodlands 4:00.12; 2. Scripps Ranch, San Diego 4:00.40; 3. DeSoto 4:00.63; 4. Dana Hills, Dana Point, Ca 4:02.55.
DisMed: 1.Montgomery 12:07.03.
HJ: 1. *Rachel Glenn (Wilson, Long Beach, Ca) 5-8½; 2. Nissi Kabongo (Liberty, Frisco) 5-8½; 3. *Danielle Munoz (Cinco Ranch, Katy) 5-8½.
PV: 1. Gennifer Hirata (Stafford) 14-0; 2. Riley Floerke (Gregory-Portland, Portland) 13-6; 3. Chloe Cunliffe (West, Seattle, Wa) 13-6; 4. Kaili Thompson (Warwick Valley, Warwick, RI) 13-6.
LJ: 1. *Claire Bryant (Memorial, Houston) 21-2¼w (20-8¼); 2. Jasmine Moore (Lake Ridge, Mansfield) 20-10¼w (19-7¾); 3. Ameia Wilson (Danville) 19-6.
TJ: 1. Moore 43-5 (f, 42-6¼, 42-8¾w, 42-6½, 43-5; f).
SP: 1. *Kiana Lowery (Klein Oak, Spring) 45-2¼.
DT: 1. *Chrystal Herpin (Dawson, Pearland) 160-5.