The decision on what college to attend was not a slam dunk for Matthew Centrowitz, a graduate of Broadneck High School.
Even though his father, Matt, was an All-American in track for the Oregon Ducks, the younger Centrowitz certainly considered other schools. “I definitely looked at other schools. I took four of my five official visits,” said Centrowitz, who also visited Georgetown, Notre Dame and Texas.
But indeed the Arnold resident ended up at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
“It took me awhile to get used to it,” said the former Broadneck standout, who visited Oregon with his father in middle school. “After four years now I have grown to enjoy Eugene and it has become a second home to me. It took some time to get used to but now I love it. And it is a great place for running.”
Centrowitz, who returned home to Maryland on Sunday after competing overseas, has had a memorable two months.
A seven-time All-American, the rising Oregon redshirt senior won the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships in Iowa in May and at the USA Track & Field event in Oregon last month.
“At the beginning of the year you write down a couple of goals,” Centrowitz told Patch on Tuesday. “To win the NCAA was a big relief off my shoulders. I was excited and that gave me confidence going into the NCAA Championships. I had high expectations coming off the NCAA Championships.”
Centrowitz kept the momentum going during a recent trip that saw him compete in Paris, Italy and Morocco.
He broke the Oregon school record by nearly two seconds (3:34.69) at a Diamond League meet in Paris earlier this month. That helped to highlight a 2010-11 season that began last fall when he was named an All-American in cross country at Oregon.
The trip was not his first overseas to take part in track. He was in Brazil in 2007 for the Pan Am Games and the next year was in Poland for the junior world championships.
“It was good to run against competition above me,” Centrowitz said of competing overseas. “I knew (three) years later I was a much better racer (after competing in Poland). I knew what I was capable of.”
Centrowitz said he will spend the next few weeks training from his home in the Hunter’s Point neighborhood as he prepares for the world championships that begin late next month in South Korea. He plans to run about 60 to 70 miles per week as he trains.
A sociology major, Centrowitz plans to graduate this winter from Oregon and hopes to eventually begin a pro track and field career, with an eye on gaining a sponsor. He also plans to apply to graduate school, and my look to study a business-related field.
Away from the track Centrowitz enjoys playing video games with friends and going to movies.
Among the former high school teammates he has kept in touch with is Arnold resident Matt Llano, a senior on the track and field team last season at the University of Richmond. Centrowitz won three state cross country titles while at Broadneck.
His older sister, Lauren, a former runner at Broadneck and Stanford, is now an assistant coach at American University under their father, a former Olympian who has been with the Eagles for more than a decade as a track coach.
The younger Centrowitz can only hope his senior year at Oregon goes as well as his junior campaign. "To get two wins in the last two meets of the season (in Iowa and Eugene) was a good ending for the season," he said.