TRACK AND FIELD: Matetich brothers taking on state meet together for Bemidji
Brothers Brooks and Cole Matetich will compete at state for Bemidji on Saturday, as will Jacob Kelly, Nick Youso, Paul Louvar and Isaak McDonald.
BEMIDJI -- Growing up, brothers Brooks and Cole Matetich found a common love.
“(Sports) have always been a huge part,” said Brooks. “Me and him have always been competitive, so we always push each other to be our best and get the best out of each other.”
The two are bringing that competitive nature to new heights this weekend. Both Bemidji High School track and field athletes qualified for Saturday’s Class AA state meet at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
“It’s awesome,” said Cole. “We’re both going at the same time, and I’ve never been and he’s never been, so it’s a first experience for both.”
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Cole, a senior, will compete in the high jump, and Brooks, a junior, will take part in the 4x800 relay team. Both took first place at the Section 8AA meet, and they’re respectively seeded second and third going into state.
The only problem: They’re competing at the same time, so they won’t exactly get to cheer each other on.
“We had to do that on Friday,” Brooks said of the section finals. “It’s a little distracting, I can’t lie, but we got it done.”
“Since we kind of do different things, we’re not really together most of the time,” Cole added. “But it is really fun to cheer each other on in our different events that we do. … Just root for each other in our heads, I guess. We’re trying to do our best.”
The Matetich brothers won’t be the only Lumberjacks at state. Jacob Kelly qualified in the 110-meter hurdles, while Nick Youso qualified in the 800-meter run. Youso also joins Brooks Matetich, Paul Louvar and Isaak McDonald in the 4x800 relay. The six individuals join five from the girls side, as 11 athletes in all will compete for BHS.
The 4x800 relay team and Cole Matetich are both scheduled to begin competing at 10 a.m. Kelly, seeded fifth in the 110 hurdles, will follow at 10:30 a.m., and Youso, seeded seventh in the 800, will take on the rest of the field at noon.
If all goes according to plan, it’ll be hard to avoid seeing “Bemidji” all over the podium.
“I just want to show them what we’re made of,” Brooks said. “I want to show them that we don’t mess around, and we’re the real deal.”
“We’re going to set a good example for up here, I think,” Cole added. “I think we’re going to come out close to the top.”
As for the Matetich brothers, the state experience with each other will be one to soak in.
“It’s everything,” Brooks said. “He’s there for me in the 4x800 at the end of the race, always cheering. I try to do my best watching him on high jump and cheering him on.”
But, perhaps most importantly, are any sibling bragging rights on the line?
“Any bets? Not that I know of,” said Brooks, who quickly added a qualifier. “Not yet.”