In a heat faster than expected, Matt Schull proved that he belonged as he placed sixth overall in the men’s 200-meter dash at the prestigious Occidental Invitational track meet.
“There were a few scratches in the heat before me, so they moved me to a faster heat, which was a little scary at first – you know, just the thought of being placed with people who you might not feel you belong with – but once I got up to the line and heard the gun, it didn’t really matter,” Schull said.
The Occidental meet is an end-of-the-season meet in which elite athletes from NCAA divisions I, II, and III compete amongst professional and Olympic athletes.
“I had a good race and really liked the fact that I was able to prove I compete at a meet like that, and among guys who represent our country.”
Schull crossed the finish line at 22.25 seconds: less than a second behind the winner, Ray Miller of the Phoenix Elite.
To put his speed in perspective, he’s only a second and a half short of the Olympic U.S. men’s “A” qualifying standards. Unfortunately, he was 1 and 1/100 of a second short of qualifying for nationals. But surely he’s faster than you and I.
“Obviously it’s a bummer I didn’t make it quite as far as I wanted in terms of nationals, but I’m happy in terms of the season, especially considering we didn’t have a track. It was a successful year,” he said.
Even without a track, Schull managed to achieve an amazing record for his final season. The senior from Honolulu, HI, is a two-time SCAC champion, the recipient of All-Conference Honors, and in the past was named both Rookie of the Year and the team’s Most Valuable Player, among other achievements.
At the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships two weeks ago, Schull placed first in both the 200-meter dash as well as the long jump competition, with a distance of 21 feet, 2 ½ inches (6.46 meters). Though he did not qualify for nationals, his season was successful to say the least.