Matthew Kovacevich, upcoming sixth grader in Friendswood ISD, is the proud owner of three medals, one gold and one silver medal from two prestigious track events held recently.
He is a Junior Olympics Medalist! Matthew medaled in the 3,000 M run recently in the USA Track and Field (USATF) Junior Olympics July 21-27 in at Turner Stadium in Humble.
This gives him All-American Track & Field status, only held by those who have medaled in Olympic Games.
“His PE teachers at Westwood-Bales are really to be commended for helping him identify this talent and pushing him with his timed mile runs in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades,” dad Craig Kovacevich said.
Matthew represented Texas in three events with athletes from throughout the United States. Athletes 18 and under from around the US who qualified in regional competitions are invited to participate in the program.
Kovacevich is part of the track program Alvin Steppers, coached by Gerry Flannel and is 11 years old.
Kovacevich qualified for three events: 800 meter race (0.497 miles) with a qualifying time of 0.02:24.82; the 3000 meter race (1.864 miles), qualifying at a time of 0.10:38.44, and the 1,500 meter race (0.932 miles), qualifying at a time of 0.033:56.74.
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, and the number one high school and junior high school participatory sport. There are more than 30 million runners in the United States.
To get to the Junior Olympics, Kovacevich had to attend and complete in separate preliminary meets at Barnett Stadium in Houston. Kovacevich qualified for the Junior Olympics in the 1500 meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 56.74 seconds on Saturday and qualified in the 3000 meter run and 800 meter run the previous week.
With one medal won, Kovacevich and his parents flew to Des Moines, Iowa for him to represent Texas in the (American) Amateur Athletic Union, better known as the AAU. There he ran the same three events there as he did this week in the USA Junior Olympics and earned a gold medal in the 3000.
Kovacevich came in second and was the Silver medalist in the boys 12 YO 1,500 Meter run. His personal best time in this was 9:44.
“The winner broke an AAU record with a time of 9:22. Amazing speed, so for Matthew to run with this kid and place second was pretty cool!” his dad said.
While his sights are set on the Olympics in his future, he has already left his mark on his elementary school. Kovacevich broke his own running record for a mile at Westwood Bales campus. His new record stands at 5 minutes, 45 seconds.
Kovacevich is the son of Craig and Marjorie Kovacevich and has one brother, Grayson who is 3 years old. The family lives in Friendswood.