by Nicholas Williams
Senior athlete Nicholas Matthews is running his way to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to participate on both the cross country and track and field team.
Matthews participated in both sports at St. Thomas for all four years: He was a four year letterman in cross country and a three year letterman in track and field.
He has been a participant at the TAPPS State tournament in both sports the last three seasons and district champion all three times.
“His high school performances indicate he has the ability to be an asset to our program,” said MIT track and field and cross country coach Halston Taylor.
“I really like the atmosphere of track and field at MIT,” Matthews said. “The coaches understand that you’re there for academics first, but as far as Division Three teams go, MIT is very competitive.”
Matthews is a member of the National Honor Society and has taken the hardest classes St. Thomas has to offer, enrolling in all the advanced/AP classes possible.
MIT is well known as a prestigious university that is difficult to get into, so Matthews knew he would need more than just his academics to be accepted.
“Even at DIII schools, coaches do have some pull in admissions,” Matthews said. “In fact, at a school like MIT, track gave me the most help. Everyone applying has good grades, so I needed something like track to have a reasonable chance at gaining admission. Still, I was not by any means certain I would be accepted.”
“We recommend prospective student-athletes to admissions,” Taylor said, “and they do their best to help athletics without compromising MIT’s academic integrity.”
Matthews also has a huge interest in computer programming — he competed in the 2012 HP Code Wars competition. For that reason, he said, MIT is the best place for him both athletically and also academically.
“One of the reasons MIT became my first choice was the opportunity to continue running at the collegiate level,” Matthews said. “However, I think MIT would have still been among my top choices, simply because they have an outstanding academic environment, especially for a computer science-intent like myself.”
As an avid runner, Matthews is very excited to continue his athletic career at the next level.
“Running has become a part of my lifestyle,” Matthews said, “and I cannot imagine stopping now.”