Carleton College junior Matthew Wilkinson, a Greenwood native and Minnetonka High School graduate, was voted the National Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year for 2020 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
"Matt had an incredible year; not just during the indoor track season," said Carleton Head Coach Dave Ricks. "He had a great summer of training and was worried about 'being in too good of shape' that early. Because he showed up in September in such good shape, he didn't have to force anything in workouts."
Wilkinson had three strong months of training in the fall and finished second at the 2019 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships. He then used Carleton's six-week Winter Break to resume training for indoor track and raced at an elite level.
When the season was halted just prior to the start of the NCAA Indoor Championships, Wilkinson's name could be found atop the 2020 NCAA Division III Performance List as he paced the nation in both the 3,000-meter run (8:11.52) and the 5,000-meter run (14:22.34). He was slotted third nationally in the mile (4:08.55). His time in the 3000 made him the No. 9 performer on the NCAA D3 all-time chart.
When the entry list for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships was revealed, Wilkinson was the only individual slated to run both the 5000-meter race and also be entered in another event, in this case he prepared to also run the 3000-meter distance.
Wilkinson took home MIAC Men's Outstanding Track Athlete of the Year honors for 2020 after winning the 3,000 and 5,000 plus anchoring the winning distance medley relay at the conference meet. When he won the 3K race at the MIAC Championships, Wilkinson not only set a new personal-best by nearly 20 seconds but also broke the conference championships mark as well as Dale Kramer's 42-year-old school record.