Lemont High School senior Matt Gagen has committed to being a member of both the cross country and track and field squads at Loras College beginning in Fall 2014.
Over his four years at Lemont, Gagen has been a standout performer for cross country coach Tim Plotke and track and field coach Dennis Kennedy, earning four varsity letters for each. A team captain in both sports as a senior, Gagen most recently helped the Indians to a runner-up finish in the South Suburban Conference Boys’ Track and Field Championship.
Gagen won the 3200-meter run at the 2014 SSC Championship, crossing the line in 10:26. He also finished as the runner- up in the 1600 meter run with a career-best time of 4:52.
Gagen won the track team’s Sportsmanship Award as a freshman in 2011, and its Coach’s Award as a sophomore in 2012. He placed fourth in the SSC in the 3200 meter run as a freshman, and improved to third place as a sophomore. His career-best time in the 3200 meter run is 10:20, which he ran at the Carlin Nalley Invitational as a junior in 2013.
Though he missed portions of two seasons with injuries, Gagen was a key contributor in cross country as well. He was a part of teams that advanced from the IHSA Regional to the IHSA Sectional in both 2010 and 2011. He missed the 2012 season with an injury, but returned as the team’s top runner as a senior in 2013. He posted a career-best time of 16:30 in the 3-mile run at the Peoria Woodruff Invitational last fall before a stress fracture prematurely ended his season.
A high honor roll student. Gagen will run for head coach Bob Schultz at Loras, an NCAA Division III institution located in Dubuque, Iowa, and a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). In his ninth season leading the Duhawks’ men’s and women’s cross country and track field programs, Schultz guided his men’s cross country team to an IIAC title and an NCAA Division III berth last fall.