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."
HOUSTON – Matthew Boling is the fastest man in the country.
You read that right.
Not just in Houston or Texas but the United States of America, Boling holds the fastest marks in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.
“It feels really good, I’ve been working really hard all year and am really happy with my times,” Boling said. “But I am still hungry and know I can do better.”
At the TSU Relays this past weekend, the Strake Jesuit senior posted times of 10.22 in the 100-meter dash and 20.58 in the 200-meter dash, which are both personal records.
Boling’s 100-meter dash time is 0.24 seconds and his 200-meter dash mark is 0.41 seconds faster than Miami Northland High School’s Tyrese Cooper times in each race.
“My goals each meet are to just progress and focus on one thing such as my block starts or drive phase so I can get ready for state,” Boling said.
Boling is in his final year at Strake Jesuit and has already signed with the University of Georgia to continue his track career at the college level.
“The team atmosphere at UGA was just amazing,” Boling said. “They had multiple current talents and a lot of pros/Olympians training there and it just felt like the best place for me to get better.”
So, how does the fastest man in the country get better?
Boling said he is focusing on his speed work and in the 400-meter race staying strong in the final 100 meters to the finish line.
While the finish is important, Boling said his key to success this year comes right from the beginning.
“I just think to get out and be explosive during my first 30 meters and then I just get up tall and move as fast as I can,” he said.
Boling has also PR'd in the long jump this season reaching 25-feet and five inches, which came at the Katy ISD Bubba Fife Relays on March 2. That mark is the longest jump in the country under FAT Only rankings on MileSplit.com.