Only destiny could bring together our revitalized distance program and the Rio Olympic’s 1500 meter gold medalist.
Matthew Centrowitz Jr., who achieved the first gold medal in the 1500 for the USA in 108 years, was very kind and welcoming to our team today. When our athletes approached him, he was receptive and showed interest in their achievements, asking about their PRs and their race schedules. A team member mentioned that Nader Ali had made the State Meet during Cross Country last Fall and he immediately congratulated him on his achievements.
Our athletes’ jaws dropped after they saw Centrowitz take off running with his impeccable running form. Mandela Matuta, a Congolese refugee from Tanzania, was inspired to declare that in 3 years, he too will be at the Olympics.
“Our nation’s elite runners are the kindest out of any sport. Last summer we met Meb Keflezighi (his nephew Medhane Woldu runs for us) and he was humble and friendly, despite his lofty achievements. Meeting Matthew today gave a motivational boost to our program. Last August, our team watched him win the gold medal live, and seeing him today is a reminder to us that one day, we too will have an Olympian from our program,” said Coach Venancio.