On Thursday, April 13, Lackawanna Trail senior Matt Kinback won two individual events and was a leg on a winning relay team to help lead the Lions to a 101-37 victory at Blue Ridge in their season opener. Kinback won the 1,600 in 4:44 and the high jump in 6-2 while also teaming up to win the 3,200 relay.
For his accomplishments, Kinback has been named the Wyoming County Press Examiner’s Athlete of the Week.
Grade, age, hometown: Senior, 18, Factoryville
Family: Robert, father; Laurel, mother; Amanda, sister, 19; Sarah, sister, 16.
Other sports I play: Cross country
Athletes I admire: Michael Phelps
Favorite Movie: “Lilo & Stitch”
Favorite TV show: “I don’t watch too much TV”
Favorite band/artist: Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin
Favorite food: Mexican food
Favorite school subject: English
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: “Walt Disney, Dick Fosbury and Michael Phelps”
Biggest role model: “My mother because she’s been through a lot and has done and has done a lot for our family.”
Post-graduation plans: “I’ll be attending DeSales University for physical therapy and will also run.”
Superstitions or rituals: “I’ll eat the usual carbs the night before the meet, and I wear the same pair of socks, but change into different ones for when I jump.”
What are some of your goals for this season? “For the team, we’d like to try to win the league this year, and I’d like to see a gold medal in both the high jump and mile at districts.”
How did you prepare yourself for this season? “I did a lot more weight training than I ever have over the winter break, so I feel a lot stronger than usual.”
Did you have any nerves for the first meet of the season at Blue Ridge? “There was definitely some jitters, and it was a little frustrating leading up to it because we had our first meet postponed and went right into that one. It was a little harder because it got cold and windy after a couple of days of it being warm, but we got through. It was a great feeling to get that win, everyone was really pumped up and it was a real big morale booster.”
What did it mean to set the Division IV high jump mark of 6-2 right out of the gate? “It definitely felt great to know I had a really good starting jump. I just need to keep working hard and work on some form to get up for districts.”
How much did competing in the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Indoor Championships in March help with that? “It was very important with helping me maintain and stay in good shape. It was really a confidence booster, because a lot of jumping is mental.”
How are you able to prepare yourself for the high jump after the running events? “It’s a little trough at times, but after the mile I’ll walk over to the jumps and run through my steps to start getting warmed up. I’m usually okay with just doing some quick, fast warmups.”
What is your approach like when running that race? “I play it by who I’m running up against. I’ve been running against most of those guys throughout high school, so I’m able to almost play it by feel.”
What will you be working to improve on throughout the season? “I need to focus on my high jump form a little better and my third lap of the mile, I need to start pushing more.”
What’s been your favorite part of being on the team? “We have a great group of people and great coaches. We have a lot of fun together, we work hard and have a great time doing it.”