Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 1, 2023

Athlete of the Week: Matt Kleiman — Track & Field

By DAVID BAIK | February 2, 2022



Junior mid-distance runner Matt Kleiman broke two program records in two weeks.

Just over a week after breaking the Hopkins program record in the indoor mile, junior mid-distance runner Matt Kleiman added another one for the record books when he broke the program 1000-meter record at the Patriot Games this past weekend.

On the heels of two outstanding performances, Kleiman is this week’s Athlete of the Week.

The News-Letter had the opportunity to speak with the multiple-records holder.

The News-Letter: How special does it feel to now hold the program record in the 1000 meter?

Matt Kleiman: It feels incredibly special to now hold the 1000-meter record. It is a distance I ran a lot in high school but not much in college, so it has been fun getting to race the distance again and have such success in it because it’s a reminder of how far I have come as an athlete since high school. It’s also one of the records which I have had my eye on since entering the program so it means a lot finally breaking it and setting a new record for people to chase. 

N-L: What was the plan of attack going into the 1000 meter, and how did having [graduate student mid-distance runner and] teammate Arthur Beyer on the line with you help your race and his?

MK: Heading into the race I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I hadn’t raced a 1000-meter in so long. I knew I wanted to get out fast and mostly focus on competing with the other racers in the field since the heat had a lot of talented runners. I was hoping to try to come through the 800-meter in around 1:56 and then try to finish off the race strong, which ended up being exactly how it played out. We were lucky a few of the top guys in the field took the race out at a perfect pace and allowed Arthur and myself to hang off the back of the leaders and then try to pass people throughout the last few laps. 

Having Arthur has made such a big difference in this race and this season. He came into this program and brought a lot of talent as well as some big goals, so having him line up with me helps push me to really be my best. It’s also so helpful looking over and seeing Arthur with me in the middle of a race because it helps me relax and trust the training we have been doing together. It is so much fun having him as well as the rest of our mid-distance training group be so strong this year because it allows us to tackle each workout with intensity and really focus on bringing the best out of each other.

N-L: Are there any other mid-distance records you're looking to break? If not, what are some general goals for yourself and the team this indoor season?

MK: As for other goals and records I’m focusing on, I am planning on prioritizing the mile. I would like to try to continue to cut off time from my mile and continue to lower that school record. I am still figuring out with my coach what my championship season plans will look like, but I think the mile is currently at the top of my list along with the possibility of a distance medley relay (DMR) since our mid-distance group is so strong this year. 

I am really excited to see what we as a team can do this season because as a program, the men’s team is currently ranked the highest we have ever been nationally, and the women’s team is ranked number one, so I’m hoping we can keep the momentum we have going through the rest of this season.

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