To say Aptos High senior Hunter Matys was on top of his game at the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League boys track and field championships would probably a real understatement.
The kid was just absolutely in the zone and nobody was getting in his way.
Matys won all four of his events at the league finals at Harbor High. And not only did he win, but he set school records in three out of four — 200-meter, 4×100-meter relay and long jump.
“It means a lot, doing it at league finals where it matters,” said Matys about setting the school records. “Anything that goes wrong could be detrimental and take you out from CCS.”
Matys’ big-time performance also helped the Mariners win their third straight SCCAL boys track and field championship. It also means another trip to the Central Coast Section trials for him.
Aptos finished with 160 points, just ahead of Santa Cruz (108), Scotts Valley (80), SLV (73), Soquel (47), Harbor (21) and Mount Madonna (one).
Matys, along with junior Lytrell Francis, senior Anthony Cardenas-Ramos and junior Eli Ruiz, finished first in 43.53-seconds
Matys was the “closer” as he sprinted towards the finish line for the win.
Matys said this year’s win meant a lot because they’ll get to redeem themselves at CCS after what he called a disaster.
“We dropped the baton and it wasn’t good,” he said.
Matys said this year’s relay team kept aiming to break the 4×100 school record because no other team has gotten this close.
“We still always knew that we can keep going,” Matys said.
The all-star track athlete said the team was having trouble with handoffs the past couple of weeks. Matys said the win was similar to last year’s league title run when they lost to Santa Cruz after fumbling around the baton in the regular season, but beat them in the end at the league finals.
They did it again by beating out the Cardinals’ foursome of sophomore Alex Rosas, senior Travis Hatcher, senior Jack Courtright and senior Rory Hatcher, which finished in 44.97.
Those who finished in the top two qualified for a chance to compete in the CCS trials, which is on May 11 at Gilroy High.
Matys was stellar in the 200-meter dash by winning in 20 seconds flat, which was also a school record. He finished ahead of Santa Cruz’s Rory Hatcher (22.21) and Aptos’ Anthony Cardenas-Ramos, who finished third (22.53).
Matys also won the 100-meter in 10.78, just in front of teammate Cardenas-Ramos (11.18) and Santa Cruz’s Alex Rosas (11.43).
Matys set his third school record by leaping for 23-feet, 3 3/4 inches in the long jump, ahead of Soquel’s Zeke Thomas (21-8) and Scotts Valley’s Dylan Rosenberg (20-8 1/2).
“I’ve just been working it out all year and working with both of my coaches,” Matys said. “We always knew we had it in the tank but it hadn’t happened until today.”
Matys said he felt good coming down the runway after the 4×100, which was his first event, and was confident as he was gearing up for the long jump.