This week’s athlete of the week is Matthew Wilson.
Wilson, a senior in chemistry, is a track and field mid-distance runner. Wilson is also a member of the Pitt State cross country program.
This is Wilson’s fourth year in the Pitt State track and field program but started long before becoming a Pitt State student.
“I’d have to say I started actually competing junior year of high school,” Wilson said. “I have done track since 7th grade but more as a way to stay in shape than competitively.”
In high school, Wilson captured the Kansas Class 4A state championship in the 800-meters.
At the 6th Annual Gorilla Classic this past weekend, Wilson broke the school record with his second-place finish in the 800-meters. The week before that, at the Northwest Missouri Bearcat Open, Wilson broke the school record in the 600-yard run.
Track and field is one of Wilson’s favorite sports.
“Track to me has a special charm to it because it’s not about who’s the favorite or has the most eye appeal on the court or field,” Wilson said. “It’s purely a numbers game. If you run a certain time nobody can take that away from you and there’s no opinion around it. (Track and field is) more of a yes or no thing. It also can show selflessness of those around you. For example, when someone agrees to pace the first portion of your race and puts their body and reputation on the line to help you compete well.”
Wilson grew up surrounded by sports but enjoyed the atmosphere that competing brings so much that he is still competing today.
“Athletics growing up wasn’t really a question for me,” Wilson said. “All of my brothers did sports before me, so I just followed in their footsteps and started playing sports. At first sports was just something to keep me busy but started to become more of a passion when I fell in love with the competitive aspect of it. That desire to compete is what’s kept me going to this day.”
After he graduates from Pitt State, Wilson hopes to attend pharmacy school at Kansas University.
“My biggest athletic accomplishment would either be scoring at the conference meet on our home track (during my) freshman and junior year or seeing… (my) training partner do the same and excel when the pressure is on and the team needs the points,” Wilson said.
Next up for the track and field teams is the MIAA Indoor Championships in Topeka from Saturday, Feb. 27 to Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Washburn University Indoor Athletic Facility. Following that is the NCAA DII Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala from Thursday, March 11 to Saturday, March 13.