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This high school relay comeback is one of the most impressive in running history

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When using the phrase “most impressive in history”, I know it’s going to be met with furrowed brows and utter disbelief. I was right there with you, until I saw what high schooler Matt Boling did over the weekend at a track meet in Texas.

Behind almost a full three seconds, Boling (a UGA commit) took the baton as anchor of the Houston Strake Jesuit 4x400 relay team and went into another dimension, finishing with a 44.74-second time in his leg and stealing victory where it looked impossible.

Boling made waves in April when he became the first high schooler to break the 10-second mark in the 100m, though it’s not considered a record because of the wind. The time was still good enough to set a national record.

Here’s the thing about Boling’s relay comeback: It’s literally unprecedented. When you look at the greatest recorded comebacks in running they’re usually resigned to distance running. The idea, of course, is you need actual time to mount a comeback — not the final 400 meters of a relay. There is no evidence of anyone coming back from 3 seconds down in a 4x400 relay to win — until now.

Now, I get the basic concept that Boling was in a class of his own — so his time tells the story more than the comeback itself, but his 44.74 was close to national individual record (44.69) that we saw something special in this race. Keep in mind too that his form is far from perfect. His starts aren’t the most efficient, and his finish is a little wobbly. When he starts working with UGA coaches the sky is the limit.

Boling also went on to take gold in the 100-meter dash and the long jump. What a weekend.