FEATURE: Boling handled National attention in stride
AUSTIN – As Matthew Boling made his way across the infield grass inside Mike A Myers Stadium, a police escort followed on his left hip.
Boling, the 18-year-old track phenom from Strake Jesuit, has seen his fame grow nationwide in the past two weeks after posting a sub-10-second time in the 100-meter dash.
“I knew I'd start getting more attention because it's more of a spotlight race but I didn't think it'd be like this," Boling said after breaking the national record on Saturday.
TRACK VIEW: @StrakeJesuit star @matthew_boling1 breaks the National Record from 1990 held by Henry Neal by running a 100 meter dash in 10.13 seconds. #UILSTATE @espn @SportsCenter @abc13sports @InsideTxTrack @STRAKEJESUITFB @StrakeJesuitATH @MattMalatesta1 @ESPNAssignDesk pic.twitter.com/0ERF0KqBNb
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) May 12, 2019
The attention around Boling started at a meet after Spring Break when he posted a time of 10.22. Then his time continued to get lower and lower.
What is crazy is Boling had never run the 100-meter dash before this season.
As more videos surfaced on social media of his races, the attention around the Georgia-track signee exploded.
Boling currently has 13,900 followers on Twitter and another 65,800 followers on Instagram.
“It was hard at first because I would look at everything everyone would say," Boling said about processing the attention. “Then I just started turning off my notifications."
As Boling stepped up to the blocks, every fan in the stadium rose to their feet and pulled out their phone to capture what was a new national record.
“Whenever I look up and see the crowd starting to video and watching it gets me hyped," Boling said. “That's what I love about the 100. Everyone comes to watch it and it's really fun."
With him in the blocks, Boling went through his normal pre-race routine the line of cameras posted at the end of the track could be heard firing off hundreds of pictures with his every move.
Then Boling posted a 10.13 race time, breaking the national mark by two-hundredths of a second.
“The whole build up and anticipation was a lot of adrenaline but it was really fun," Boling said.
The craziest part of this entire journey for Boling has been when people would say he came out of nowhere.
“It's weird too because I ran really well in the 400 last year and no one noticed," Boling, who took silver in the 400-meter dash last season, said. “As soon as I started the 100, everyone is like he came out of nowhere."
Moments after posting the fastest time in the history of high school sports, Boling admitted he cane still get faster.
“I definitely think I can still grow," Boling said. “My acceleration phase is going really well right now but I still think I can grow in my start. That could definitely get me under 10.1."