Sports Spotlight: After top conference honors South Central’s Winstead has sights set on records, track future

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – There were some great efforts at the state track and field championships last week but one of the best efforts this spring might have come at the Big Carolina Conference meet.

We feature the runner who achieved it, South Central rising sophomore Matthew Winstead, in our Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“My mind does go free,” says Winstead, “I feel a lot more open when I am running. Also, I just love to be competitive.”

For South Central sophomore distance runner Matthew Winstead his passion for running started in elementary school.

“Running club,” says Winstead, “I got into it in 3rd grade. I got to do it in 4th grade and 5th grade and I just love doing it.”

A set back during his freshman season made this uber-competitive runner have to dial back.

“I hurt one of my baby bones in my right foot. It just I tried to run on it and made it worse for myself,” Winstead says, “Just a horrible injury.”

Winstead got back to 100 percent for his sophomore season.

“I think it was one of my best seasons coming into this year,” says Winstead.

Winning three events at the conference championships.

“Won the 800m, 1600m which is the mile, the two mile 3200m so getting 30 points right there was a big deal for our team,” says South Central Track and Field Head Coach Robert Wolbert, “But winning three individual events and three gold medals.”

Matthew named the Big Carolina Conference Track and Field Player of the Year as a sophomore.

“I came into the meet with not really that mindset of getting all first place,” says Winstead, “I just came into it trying to do my best and I did that.”

Winstead hopes to run in college one day and is closing in on South Central’s records. He hopes to break them soon.

“My favorite event is the 800. I just love it,” says Matthew.

His coach says there is no doubt Matthew can go as far as he wants. His work ethic will take him there.

“He has a vision about what he wants to do, he wants to run in college,” says Wolbert, “He still has two more years. He works really hard and the sky is the limit for him.”