Matthew Boling: The Next US Sprinting Phenom?

Matthew Boling is a high school track athlete who has recently been dominating in the sprinting competitions, specifically the 100-meter dash.

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A new sprinter by the name of Matthew Boling has come onto the scene this outdoor track season. The senior from Houston Strake Jesuit High School isn’t just your average fast track athlete. In fact, he holds the overall United States High School Boys’ 100-meter record of 9.98 seconds, giving him the number one spot in the nation for that event. He came onto the scene around mid-March at an elite meet called Texas Relays, running a PR (Personal Record) of 10.20 seconds. A couple of weeks later, he ran a personal record of 10.11 seconds. Finally, he turned heads when he ran sub-10 seconds on April 27, a feat many high school sprinters would die for. As the gun went off in that race, the people in the crowd stood on their feet, and they couldn’t believe what they saw next. Boling did what he usually would do during a race, outpacing the other sprinters by a good margin, and once he finished, the stadium’s board came out with the results. His time was 9.98 seconds. It broke the overall prep high school 100-meter dash record.

While the 100-meter dash may be what he’s most known for, he also excels in the 200-meter, 400-meter, long jump, high jump, and triple jump events. He is second among the group of U.S. High School Boys’ Long Jumpers, having a jump of 2.6-3.5 feet; he also places third at the U.S. 200-meter dash, having a dash time of 20.55 seconds.

Even more impressive is that he didn't even start focusing on the 100-meter dash until this year, but with all the work he puts into his other events, it makes sense why he came out at the top. His great work ethic, build, and form are what make him an elite athlete. For context, Usain Bolt’s world record is 9.58 seconds, a .4 second gap between that time and Boling’s PR. While the gap margin seems very small, for sprinting, it will definitely be hard for Boling to shave off even that teeny tiny number to even come close to the record.

Now, what is it that allows him to achieve such incredible times? Well, if you watch the runs he’s done this season, he pushes his legs more outward from his body, a similar form to Bolt’s. This form allows for less contact with and time on the ground, allowing the athlete to run quicker and more efficiently.

What also sets him apart from other runners is his versatility in other events. Let’s compare him to Trayvon Bromell, who ran the 100-meter dash in 9.99 seconds in high school and has since ran at the Olympics. Their senior year times show that Boling is the more consistent runner (Note that their sub-10 second races were “wind-aided,” meaning that a there was a higher than legal wind speed, which did have a role in their fast times). Most of Bromell’s other races were in between 10.3 and 10.6 seconds, while Boling maintained a range of 10.1 seconds to 10.3 seconds throughout his races. If Boling is able to be consistent in his races, that definitely adds to how he has improved so drastically within one season of competing in the event. But it’s also important to note that Boling has a talent for an array of events. He has the 400-meter running experience, compared to Bromell, who is purely a 100 and 200-meter dash runner. Having the endurance from the 400-meter run, this definitely helps with being a strong runner, which is also key for being a great sprinter. Boling also has a great build from his fieldwork as a jumper. Jumpers obviously need a lot of upper and lower body strength to get a lot of momentum to propel in the air.

Boling definitely has the potential to emulate Bolt if he continues doing what he is doing. During an interview with news station KHOU 11, his dad noted, “In middle school, when he was running in seventh and eighth grades, it [felt like I was] watching a deer run. [That gave him] the work ethic that is beyond anything I’ve ever seen from anybody.” Judging by this, Boling has exactly what it takes to become America’s next elite athlete. And he doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Recently, as the anchor leg for his school team’s 4 by 400 meter relay, he ran an incredible leg of 44.74 seconds, outpacing the team in front of him to capture the first place win for his team. Additionally, he’s already committed himself toward going to a Division I college at the University of Georgia. It’ll be exciting to see what’s in store for him in the coming years, and from what we have seen so far, he will set the bar high. Be on the lookout for Matthew Boling.