Mar 20, 2016
PORTLAND, Oregon – Matt Centrowitz is one proud dad today.
The American University head track and field coach was in Portland this weekend watching his son Matthew make history.
The younger Centrowitz became the first American to win the World Indoor Championship at 1,500 meters on Sunday, using momentum and speed off the final turn to take his only lead of the race down the stretch and lead a tightly packed field to the line.
"It's an amazing feeling," said father Matt an hour after the race. "The feeling is better than you think it's going to be.
"My daughter (Lauren) also came here to watch her brother, so to have them together is very special."
Centrowitz won in 3:44.22, just ahead of a fast-closing Jakub Holusa of the Czech Republic (3:44.30) and Nick Willis of New Zealand (3:44.37), who led the final two laps and ended up third.
Seven runners finished within one second of the lead, as the pack survived a tactical race.
"I thought the pace would be a little faster," said Matt. "I was surprised it went that slow."
The younger Centrowitz is coached by Alberto Salazar, but a little fatherly advice never hurts.
"Alberto is definitely his main coach, but he invites me into the planning stages on some other things," said Matt. "He involves me in some things that a father might know that are more personal. We definitely have a great relationship."
Matthew, like his father, is an alumnus of the University of Oregon. He used some hometown advantage in earning the win in the city where he also lives and trains.
His dad, though, noted the connection with American University runs deeper than just his personal involvement.
"Matthew grew up as a kid in track, so he has been a part of our AU family. He came back for the Cassell Hall of Fame induction for Sean O'Brien this February and was a big part of that with us."
The elder Centrowitz will return to the AU campus in the next couple days to lead the Eagles into their next competition this Saturday at the Maryland Invitational.
After a few hours of celebration, that is.