Nelson's Matti Erickson Ready to Take On the World
Nelson's Matti Erickson is ready for another shot at the best junior middle-distance runners on the globe.
He has completed his freshman year at the University of Oregon training with and running against the NCAA’s best.
Erickson called that experience invaluable.
“Some of the straight up best athletes in the world are training here and I get to work out with them,” he said.
“You pick up a few tricks and picks they’ve had over the years that they pass on so that’s one of the better things about being at a school like this,” said Matti who added that he has learned a lot from them about race tactics.
“You’re used to racing against competition that on paper is better than you, being able to set yourself up mentally for that, like psychologically being able to keep your nerve in important races,” commented the Nelson runner who is making final preparations for a return to the world stage.
Matti recently recorded a personal best time of 1:48 in the 800m at the NCAA regionals.
The collegiate season is over and Erickson has been competing in club events for B-C and Canada with an eye on next week’s World Jr. Championships in Cali, Columbia.
Matti said he learned a great deal about racing against the world’s best last year, which included some runners who had just competed at the Tokyo Olympics.
The triple-gold medallist at the Canadian Championships last summer didn’t advance after the world championship heats but feels much better prepared and notes he will no longer be among the youngest runners in the field, which should be a factor on the track.
“Just having experience that some of the other athletes don’t have because there aren’t a lot of athletes coming back to this championship having been there last year, because I was so young last year I’m now getting the opportunity to do this again, which doesn’t normally happen.” said Matti.
Training at the University of Oregon facility in Eugene gave Erickson a chance to watch the World Athletics Championships being held for the first time in North America.
Matti told Bounce News it was amazing to watch the world's best compete in person and hopes to be among them at the senior level in the not too distant future.