Home | Contact Us | IAAF World Championships | U.S. Track & Field | Community News, Features & Profiles | Links | About Steve

US CHAMPIONSHIPS: NBC Sports Disappoints on Day 4
US CHAMPIONSHIPS: Coverage of Field Events Improves on Day 3
US CHAMPIONSHIPS: Day Two Coverage Review
US CHAMPIONSHIPS: NBC Sports Gold Coverage of US Championships
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Huddle Gets the Double at the Olympic Trials
OLYMPIC TIRALS - Coach Gags Last Go-round at the Trials
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Favorites Survive Semis in 1500
Olympic Hopefuls Turn to New Ways of Fundraising for Support
OLYMPIC TRIALS - A Short Day for Orji in the Triple Jump
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Merritt Ready for Double after Impressive 400 Win
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Trials Race Walk Ends in Disappointment for Gray
OLYMPIC TRIALS - 20K Race Walk Takes Center Stage on June 30 in Salem
PRE CLASSIC - Flawless Harrison Leaves Hayward with an American Record
PRE CLASSIC - Prefontaine Field Events Follow Form Chart

Matthew Centrowitz Ready to Take Center Stage
By Steve Ritchie
February 15, 2011

Matthew Centrowitz - University of Oregon

EUGENE - How good can Oregon's Matthew Centrowitz be? His 3000 meter race last weekend at the Husky Classic gave us another glimpse at the tremendous potential of this talented runner.

As accomplished as Centrowitz has been over the last three years, he has been overshadowed by former Oregon teammates Galen Rupp and Andrew Wheating, who have long since become household names among track fans. To date, Centrowitz, who is now a redshirt junior in outdoor track eligibility, has not won an individual NCAA championship, has not set any school records, and, unless you count back-to-back Pac-10 titles in the 1500 meters, hasn't won a major title.

But his time could be here soon.

In Saturday's 3000 meter race in Seattle, Centrowitz's strong finish carried him past a veritable Who's Who of high-profile distance runners, including Alan Webb, Sam Chelanga and German Fernandez, to name a few.

Centrowitz said his strategy for the race was "to stay in the mix of things and have a good last 800," and he followed Webb for most of the race. His closing speed over the last 200 meters was impressive. I didn't have a watch on him, but he was moving better than anyone else in the world-class field at the finish and, had he kicked just a little sooner, he might have even caught winner Tim Nelson before the finish line.

Centrowitz has a PR of 3:36.92 in the 1500, good for the 7th fastest collegian ever. He ran that as a freshman at the Cardinal Invitational in May 2009, and went into the NCAA championships that year as one of the favorites. Unfortunately, he didn't make it to the NCAA finals that year due to a severe foot injury.

While he was slightly under the radar in 2010, Centrowitz raced very well outdoors and finished the year strong. In addition to winning the Pac-10, he was part of the 1-2-3 Oregon sweep in the NCAA 1500 meters, as he was third in a photo finish behind Wheating and A.J. Acosta. A few weeks later, he ran a 3:40.14 in the semi-finals at the USATF championships to qualify for the finals. Predictably, the USATF 1500 final was a tactical race, with an agonizingly slow pace followed by an all-out, wild sprint on the last lap. Centrowitz again displayed great closing speed in finishing 5th as the collegian in the race.

It appears that Centrowitz will run the 3000 at the NCAA Indoor Meet, but he said that it is possible he could go for a auto qualifier in the mile as well. Outdoors, it looks like he could run either the 1500 or the 5000. History suggests the former, but his strength and ability to run a last lap in the low 50s could also serve him well in the 5000. Both races will have stacked fields, but keep an eye on him. Centrowitz may be poised for a great finish to his college career.


Featured archived articles:
Nick Symmonds Takes 6th Place in Berlin 800 Final

Nick Symmonds was in perfect position with 100 meters to go in Sunday's 800 meter final at the World Track & Field Championships... (more)

Mt. Angel Woman Helps Keep Olympic Hopefuls On Track in Eugene

What does it take to be an
Olympic athlete? For most
athletes who reach that elite
level, it takes years ...

More Women Running - Going the Distance

No one participating in or
cheering on runners at the
Homer's Classic 8K on August
8, will be surprised that there are women running in the ...

Ian Dobson Races to Third Place at Trials and Makes U.S. Olympic Team

Pacific University Library Director Marita Kunkel was in the stands
at Hayward Field in Eugene last Monday night... (more)

Nick Symmonds Advances to 800 Final at World Championships

A major deluge hit Olympic Stadium in Berlin an hour before Nick Symmonds was scheduled to run his semi-fina... (more)

©2017 • All Rights Reserved • No part of this site may be reproduced without express written permission. Web design by IrishLemons.com

create counter