Matysek proves disbelievers wrong in winning 800 at Nalley Invitational

Lisle, Ill --- If you approached the area where the Jacobs HS athletes were camped on Saturday at the Carlin Nalley Invitational at Benedictine University and saw Nick Matysek, you would think that this athlete would either be in a weight event or participating in the sprints. His 5-11 192 pound frame would make you believe that.

There were some fans in the stands that were in disbelief when they saw this young man standing at the starting line for the start of the 800 Meter Run. He does not have the prototypical running style or stride.

He may be built like a weight man, but he has the mind and the heart of an 800 Meter runner.

It was a surprise when Matysek took the lead with 300 meters to go over pre-race favorite Travis Trevizio (Riverside-Brookfield, Riverside, Ill). He lumbered towards the finish line and took this race. Actually, he did not take this race, but he did earn this win with a smart strategy of hanging back early in the race and then moving when the time was right. His time was 1:57.32, over a four second personal best.

This is his first year in this event. His freshman year, he participated in the shot put. Last year, he ran the sprints and was a part of their relays. Now he is a half miler. His evolution in this event could put Jacobs in the discussion in the 4 x 8 at state having William Hennessy, Pat Nerja and Ryan Ross involved as well.

“It was incredible what he did today,” said Hennessy. “Considering he did not run this until this year, it is quite the change.

“My coach (Kevin Christian) and I decided that I needed to sit in the middle of the pack for the first lap and little of the second because I am coming from a 1, 2, and 4 guy,” said Matysek. “I have the power in my legs to power through. I can just out kick people at the end.”

The distance races at this meet took the spotlight continuing on the trend that started on Friday night. In the 1600, Hennessy was able to inch past Kyle Hauser (Marist, Chicago, Ill) to win with Hennessy winning by 2 hundredths of a second: 4:21.37-4:21.39.

The race came down to the final 150 meters when Tom Rotondi (Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill) tried to make a move with 150 meters to go. “I could hear someone yelling at him that he needed to go, so I just found another gear,” Hennessy said.

Cody Haberkorn (Marist, Chicago Ill) took off with 800 meters to go and held off Patrick Santino (St. Ignatius, Ill) to run 9:30.46 to win the 3200 Meter Run. In the 4 x 800 Meter Relay, Palatine was unchallenged after the first leg to win in 8:05.89. A good double considering the same quartet ran 8:02 the night before.

Walther Lutheran won the small school championship over six time champion Oregon. The team title came down to the 1600 meter relay as Walther had a two point lead. The two teams battled through the first three legs before Patrell Green for Walther pulled away in the final 400 Meters to capture the event win along with clinching the team title.

Bolingbrook won the large school team title almost doubling the score over Morton Township HS. The Raiders received wins from Jordan Banks in the Triple Jump (44-7.5), Eric McDowell in the Shot Put (50-8), the 4x1 (44.14) and 4x2 (1:31.33), and Chris Brennan in the 400 (50.80). Brennan was able to hold off a oncharging Matt Ruff (Wheaton Academy, West Chicago, IL) to win by two tenths of a second.

Perez Ford (Romeoville, Ill) was the only double winner in the large school section of the meet winning the 100 (11.16) and 200 Meter Dashes (22.44).

There were two double winners in the small school meet. Patrick Long (Herscher, Ill) won both the Shot (49-7) and Discus (152-0). Nate Novota (Westmont, Ill) won both the long distance races winning the 3200 (10:05.05) and the 1600 (4:43.07).