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The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

TRACK AND FIELD | First-Year Tinoda Matsatsa Sets NCAA Indoor 1000m Record in First Collegiate Attempt


On Jan. 19 and 20, the Georgetown University track and field team traveled to Virginia Tech to compete in the Hokie Invitational. The weekend as a whole proved to be successful, with four Georgetown runners breaking the school record in the men’s indoor 1000-meter and one more narrowly missing out on doing so. 

However, the undisputed star of the weekend was first-year mid-distance runner Tinoda Matsatsa who finished first in the indoor 1000m and, in doing so, set the NCAA record with a 2:18.05 finish — in his first collegiate attempt at the event.

Matsatsa’s record-breaking weekend did not come easily, as he was forced to overcome setbacks early in his collegiate career. He was sidelined from July to September 2023 with a lower back injury and was limited in his training. 

Matsatsa entered the season worried he would be starting behind everyone else due to his reduced ramp-up in practice.

“I thought I wouldn’t be on pace to run fast early on in the season or have a good freshman season,” Matsatsa told The Hoya. “I didn’t get to experience the summer distance-based training as everyone else did so I ran lower mileage than everyone else.”

He said his rehab proved particularly successful, returning with renewed fitness as a result of weekly aerobic workouts.

“Coming back off my injury, my speed came back way faster than it usually does,” Matsatsa said. “Doing that here every Tuesday has definitely pushed my fitness to a new level because now I’m stronger.”

Despite initial fears of underperforming, Matsatsa’s training and dedication to the sport prevailed. He won his first two events, including the men’s 800-meter at Boston University on Dec. 2 and the men’s 600-meter at Penn State on Jan. 13.

At the Hokie Invitational, Matsatsa approached the 1000m aiming to break the school record with a time around 2:20.00. Ultimately, Matsatsa accomplished something even more impressive: breaking the NCAA indoor record for the event.

“I came through 800 and was like, ‘I have a lot of energy and feel great,’” Matsatsa said. “That’s when I switched gears and tried to get it and I did. 

“I felt great, I crossed the line and I saw the time and I was actually in shock.”

Georgetown Athletics | First-year mid-distance runner Tinoda Matsatsa has started his collegiate career with a bang, setting the NCAA indoor record in the 1000m.

With a time of 2:18.05, Matsatsa broke the NCAA event record previously held by Texas distance runner Yusuf Bizimana, who set the mark at 2:18.10 on Jan. 12. Bizimana also set a top collegiate time in the 800m this season, and Matsatsa said he has since made it his goal to top that.

Matsatsa prides himself on setting “unreal goals” that at first appear impossible. After achieving one of these in the form of an NCAA record, he is already looking ahead to the rest of the season.

“I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life,” Matsatsa said. “I want to get at least top three at NCAAs this year.”

Matsatsa’s determination is tangible as he strives to become the fastest runner he can be. He is motivated by all of the competition in the NCAA and has deep aspirations for the rest of his time at Georgetown. 

“I definitely want to win at least three NCAA titles,” Matsatsa said. “I only run faster when there is competition, and there is a lot of competition in NCAAs.”

With his Georgetown career just beginning, Matsatsa has already achieved profound success. He was named last week’s NCAA Runner of the Week for his record-breaking weekend and is the first Georgetown athlete to ever earn that honor.

Brandon Bonsey, Georgetown track and field assistant coach, told Georgetown Athletics that he expects big things from this year’s group and praised Matsatsa’s impressive night.

“Setting an NCAA record is beyond difficult, but to do it as a freshman in the first time competing in the event is truly special,” Bonsey said. “Tinoda is one of the best young talents in the world.”

Matsatsa and the Hoyas will next compete in the Penn State National Open on Jan. 26 and 27.

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