Class: Real-World Red Shirt Senior (RW-RS-Sr)
Events: 5k, 8k, 10k, Half Marathon
Alma Mater: North Central College / University of Oregon
Hails From: Carol Stream, IL
Occupation: Forecasting Analyst
Known Aliases: Mad Dog, Cheese, Cheesedog, Perro Loco, Queso Loco, Chien Enrage, "The Dog", tooz, Mike T
Half Marathon - 1:11:06
10k - 32:47
8k - 25:48
5k - 15:32
3k - 9:09.31
Mile - 4:30.10
1500m - 4:16.57
3rd Place Horsetooth Half Marathon 2016, Fort Collins, CO
1st Place Columbus State CC Invitational 2016, Columbus, OH
Hot off a 9:30 1-Mile in gym class, 6th grader Mike “Mikey” Matuszak decided to join the middle school track team, thus beginning his athletic career. Although he was mighty proud of finishing this impossibly long distance for the first time ever, he found himself throwing the shot put and discus… a few meters. After two years of these un-Herculean efforts, Mike became interested in joining the cross country team.
He didn’t know what it actually involved, speculated it was something to do with skiing, but was told he could get a t-shirt with his name printed on the back, so naturally he joined. “Running???” Mike nearly choked on his lunch dessert choco taco when he found out about the horrors he had gotten himself into. From day one, he was nearly or actually dead last for every warm-up, workout, and race. This was especially evident since he failed to understand the difference between the three. Everything was just running… slow. Through “hard work” and persistence, Mike eventually beat 1 of his teammates (who was sick as a dog in the race and normally was the second to last man), which resulted in his first small taste of accomplishing things through dedication.
Cue springtime. Track practice seems a whole lot different now. Although he still throws the implements at the meets, Mike doesn’t seem to fit in with this group of future high school football and wrestling all-stars, so he aligns himself with those skinny dudes from the cross country team in the fall. At several meets, Mike blazes by (probably a 96 second quarter) several females in the mile race, sometimes even the 800 and has gradually taken that 9:30 mile down to a 6:3x. Hell, during one day at practice, the coach is making announcements to the entire team and highlights his time in a recent meet. It was no better than most of the other guys on the squad, but a vast improvement from years ago. The fire was there… kind of.