Senior Sendoff: Oxford High School's Matthew Singletary

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For this week's MileSplit Mississippi senior sendoff, we are sending off one of Oxford's finest and most versatile distance runners, reigning, of course, from Oxford High School, Matthew Singletary!

Singletary will be enrolling at Mississippi College in the Fall of '22, where he will compete on the team's track and field and cross country teams. 

With PRs of 1:59 in the 800m, 4:28 in the 1600m, and 16:13 in the 5k on grass, Singletary used his senior season at Oxford to prove that he is one of the state's best in every distance. 

Singletary ended the season as the No. 14 ranked 5k runner in the state, as well as the No. 5 ranked runner in the 1600m and the No. 15 ranked runner in the 800m. 

RANKINGS: Mississippi High School Boys 1600m List

Singletary also added high finishes at the state championship level, which included an All-MHSAA 6A finish of 13th place at the 2021 MHSAA 6A Cross Country Championships, as well as a 4th place finish in the 1600m at the 2022 MHSAA 6A Track and Field Championships

Matthew Singletary at the 2021 MHSAA 6A Cross Country Championships (Bib # 493)

With Singletary's versatility, he could see himself slotting in at Mississippi College anywhere from the 1500m, all the way to the 10,000m. 

Mississippi College had a 1500m squad ranking of 3:47.81 during the 2022 season, with Mississippi alumni Cole Benoit leading the charge with his PR of 3:44.94. Christian Balcer, a recent graduate of East Central High School and state record holder in the 3200m and 5k, is also a part of that squad ranking. 

Mississippi College's 1500m event squad ranking of 3:47.81 converts to a 4:04.6 1600m. 

Benoit also had the fastest 3k time of the year with an 8:07 (8:40 3200m conversion), and Balcer led the way in the outdoor 5k with a 14:25. 

Once Singletary arrives in Clinton and classes begin, he will be focusing on securing a degree in Sports Management, a degree that provides students an in-depth knowledge of sports, finance, human resources, legal structures, ethics, leadership, management, and more. Students will have the opportunity to create both successful and financially responsible athletic programs within an educational institution.

We asked Singletary some questions and insight in regards to his high school career, what he loves about running, and some advice that he would leave behind to all of the track and field athletes that are still on their journey. 

Check them out below!


Q: Explain your 'running journey'... (How did you get into running, how did your senior season go, and how did you get connected with the college that you are going to?)

A: I started out on the football team in 7th grade and wasn't good at all. I was much smaller than all the other guys at that time and was pushed around. But, I was pretty fast and had more endurance than the other kids. My football coach told me to try track and I went to try it. From there I grew to like the sport and even added traded football for cross country. I continued all the way to this year where my senior season went absolutely great. In Cross country, I hit my goals plus we won state. It was during this season that Coach Reneker emailed my dad and said I should come down for a visit. We went and I really liked Mississippi College and I cannot wait to be there next year. In track it went even better for me, I ran massive PRs in all my events and made it to state in the 1600m. It was my first time making it to track state.

Q: What is your most memorable meet/race and why?

A: Definitely the MC Watson meet this year. I had a huge PR in the 5k, definitely my best cross country race. It was a huge day for our whole team because almost everyone PR'd. Plus it was the first race I ever threw up afterward.

Q: Out of all your high school achievements, which one means the most to you and why?

A: Definitely winning the cross country state championship this year. We all worked extremely hard to get to this point and it was a great way to end my senior year.

Q: If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

A: I would change what I did after covid started. Once the big quarantine happened I really didn't run at all because I couldn't find anyone reason to do it if I couldn't race. I didn't have a great love for the sport at that point so if I could change anything I would have continued training hard.

Q: Who is somebody that you look up to/someone that helped you along your journey to get you where you are today?

A: My dad has been a huge inspiration to me throughout high school. While I've been training for cross country and track, he's been training for marathons and has been to Boston for several years in a row. He would wake up at like 5:00 in the morning to go run 18 miles and then come back home and go to work straight afterward. He's also been a great coach to me and always pushes me to be my best.

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I'm gonna miss my teammates and the practices with all of them.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to the younger athletes that are just getting started on their journey?

A: Always have fun with the process. If it becomes a chore or something that you don't wanna do it's gonna be a miserable experience. So, always try to find ways to enjoy it.