High School Sports

Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner sees bright future for track phenom Matt Boling

Chances are you’ve seen the video by now.

If you blinked, though, you probably missed it.

The gun sounded on April 27 and Houston Strake Jesuit senior Matt Boling was gone. Less than 10 seconds later - a wind-aided 9.98 seconds to be exact - and Boling had crossed the finish line with the fastest all-conditions 100-meter dash in the history of high schools.

Let that sink in: He ran the fastest 100-meter dash of any high schooler ever.

Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner saw the video. He’s seen plenty of Boling, who is headed to Georgia to continue his athletic career, well before his jaw-dropping effort at the Class 6A Region III meet.

The former Arlington Lamar runner, who won UIL state titles in the 200 (20.41) and 400-meter dash (45.57) in 2002, went on to win three Olympic gold medals, two during 2004 in Athens and one during 2008 in Beijing.

He also won the 2004 NCAA Division I indoor and outdoor 400-meter titles at Baylor.

Wariner is one of the most accomplished 400-meter runners of all-time, finishing in under 44 seconds nine times. The five-time World Champion won the gold in the 400 meters in 44.0 seconds at age 20 at the 2004 Olympics and ran a career-best 43.45 at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan.

He just finished his first season as the head track coach at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas.

The Star-Telegram caught up with Wariner to get his thoughts on Boling’s emerging stardom:

Did you know who Matt Boling was before this year?

I knew of him briefly last year when he ran I think a 46.1 in the 400 as a junior. He’s on a whole other level this season.

What are your thoughts about his sub-10 second time?

Anyone that can run under 10 seconds in high school, wind-aided or not, is phenomenal. I know a couple others that did it; Trayvon Bromell, who went to Baylor, is one of them. It’s an amazing feat. Now his body understands how to run a sub-10 time.

He’s been getting a lot of attention on social media. What advice would you give him on how to handle it all?

Just continue to be who you are. He hasn’t changed who he is and I think he’s handling it really well. Don’t let it get to your head and just focus on winning a state title. He’s been all over the place, ESPN, Bleacher Report, but all I can tell him to do is focus on this week.

Do you think Matt will be a future Olympian?

I believe so, but it’s hard to say. He has a lot of range. He ran a 46.1 in the 400 as a junior, but I don’t think he’s run it this year, which is kind of scary based on his times in the 100 and 200. I don’t know how accurate it is, but my understanding is Georgia is going to make him a decathlete. With his range in all events, he’s done 6-5, 6-6 in the high jump in the past, so he has potential to be an Olympic decathlete and could break the world record in it. Time will tell and how hard he works. You have to make a lot of sacrifices in track and field. He’s on the right path.

So you got him by a hair in the 400?

Well, I ran it in 45.57 as a senior. He did in 46.1 as a junior. Again, I don’t think he’s done the 400 this year. It’s interesting to see what his time would be, translating from his times in the 100 and 200.

How did your first year as head coach go with Parish Episcopal?

We just finished the 6A TAPPS state meet in Waco last weekend. Cameron Overton finished second in the 200. Kahlil Overton was second in the 400. We finished third in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Jai Moore was a state qualifier in the long jump and high jump, and Paige Jenkins was a state qualifier in the 100 meter hurdles.

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.