1999 USATF ATHLETE BIOGRAPHY (written by Jeff Hollobaugh)

Jonathan Matthews

JONATHAN MATTHEWS

Born: July 2, 1956, in New York, NY

Current Residence: Helena, Mt

PRs: 20km Walk 1:25:40 (1992); 50km Walk 4:01:36 (1993)

High School: North Hollywood, Ca '74

College: UCLA '80

Height: 6-1

Weight: 170

Coach: self

Agent: self

Club: Reebok

1990: best of 1:35:34.

1991: bests of 1:28:41 and 4:23:35…7th in World Cup 20K Trials…5th in 20K at USA Champs…ranked #7 U.S. at 20K, #10 at 50K by T&FN.

1992: bests of 1:25:40 and 4:12:28…5th in Olympic Trials 50K…3rd in Olympic Trials 20K…5th in Pan-Am Cup 20K (1:28:58)…ranked #2 U.S. at 20K, #5 at 50K by T&FN.

1993: bests of 1:25:56 and 4:01:36…41st at World Cup 20K (1:31:28)…won USA 50K Champs (4:01:36 PR)…2nd in USA 20K Champs…19th in World Champs 50K (4:02:52)…ranked #2 U.S. at 20K, #1 at 50K by T&FN.

1994: bests of 1:27:13 and 4:02:59…12th in Pan-Am Cup 20K (1:28:04)…2nd in USA 50K Champs…won USA 5K Champs (20:12)…2nd in USA 20K Champs…ranked #2 U.S. at 20K, #2 at 50K by T&FN.

1995: best of 4:02:42…3rd in USA 50K Champs…did not finish 20K at Pan-Am Games…did not finish 20K at USA Champs…did not finish World Cup 50K…ranked #5 U.S. at 50K by T&FN.

1996: best of 1:27:30…7th in Olympic Trials 20K…ranked #8 U.S. at 20K by T&FN.

1997: bests of 1:30:49 and 4:12:36…2nd in USA 50K Champs…5th in USA 20K Champs…did not finish World Cup 50K…ranked #5 U.S. at 20K, #6 at 50K by T&FN.

1998: best of 1:33:23…3rd in USA 20K Champs (1:35:58.4)…7th at Goodwill Games 20K (1:38:13.4)…13th at Pan-Am Cup 20K…ranked #3 U.S. at 20K by T&FN.

The Rest of the Story: Matthews' journey into racewalking took some strange turns. In high school and college, he was an injury-plagued middle distance runner. He handily broke 2:00 for 800m, but couldn't get healthy enough to make real progress…"I tried cycling, then. In a few years I was on the national cycling team. Then I had a bad crash in an international stage race, and I busted some of my teeth out and cut up my face quite badly. So I retired from cycling"…then came a return to running, along with more injuries…frustrated, he turned to racewalking as a Ph.D. student at Stanford…he walked alone for a year, then started seeking out other walkers and their advice…he earned his first U.S. ranking at age 35…prior to the 1996 Olympic Trials, he was hampered by an inflammation of the pubic bone, an injury seen more often in soccer and hockey players…"The last couple years I've been recovering. I'm still hoping for the best ever even though I'm an old timer. I'm aiming for the 50K Trials in February"…married in 1988 to Stephanie; two sons, Kyle (born 1994) and Connor (1998)…earned his Ph.D. in education from Stanford, and for several years worked in fitness education at Reebok before returning to a college setting…currently is a professor of education at private Carroll College in Helena, where he also is director of student teaching and the school's certification official…a lover of the outdoors, Matthews and his family like to sail and hike…from his house, he can see the start of one of his favorite hikes, the trail to the top of Mt. Helena: "We're very happy here."