Matt McClintock will spend this summer running and sprinting up the hills around his home in Athens.
And there are plenty of hills.

But for a distance runner who trained on a dirt track and ran as much as 60 miles a week by himself, the Madison High senior has been all about a big challenge.

McClintock ran so well his senior year he earned a 90 percent athletic scholarship to Purdue, where he will be a contributor starting this fall.

And based on McClintock’s easy-going, make-it-happen attitude, it will be fun to follow him with the Boilermakers.

McClintock’s double victory at the Class C state meet in the 1,600 (4:16.40) and 3,200 meters (9:16.92) – with times faster than anyone in Class A and B – and his runaway victory in the 3,200 at the New England championships (9:06.24) earned him recognition as the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram boys’ outdoor track athlete of the year.

McClintock was undefeated in Maine in both the 1,600 and 3,200 this season.

He went into his senior year determined to excel as a runner as well as academically – he’s the class valedictorian.

And McClintock made it happen, starting in the fall when he finished 15th at the Footlocker national cross country meet, setting him up for a strong season on the track.

“Last summer as opposed to taking off, I ran. I trained on the weekends and trained over the summer, as opposed to just running the occasional 5K, and I came into cross country in the best shape of my life,” McClintock said.

“I was able to build off of that, and by increasing my training, get stronger. I should have been doing that all along. My senior year was really my best effort. I had gotten beat a couple of times and I just decided, I didn’t like losing at all. And I was going to do everything I could to not lose.”

McClintock didn’t race in the indoor or outdoor national meets because he couldn’t get to the events in New York City or North Carolina.

But his runaway victory at the outdoor New England meet proved he can run at a high level. He won the 3,200 by running alone for half the eight laps.

“I wanted to get 8:57. That’s the New England record. I thought I was capable of running sub-9:00, but I improved by 10 seconds so I can’t complain,” McClintock said.

“I don’t think I could have done much better my senior year.”

Now, his new coach wants him to run hills, as fast and often as he can. And McClintock is happy to oblige.

“It’s pretty flat in Indiana and he knows there are a lot more hills in Maine. There is one hill that is half a mile long near town. Now, wherever I’m running, I’m hitting hills,” McClintock said.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

dfleming@pressherald.com

Twitter: Flemingpph