Matt Baxter

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PERSONAL BESTS

3,000m – 7:47.85 (2020)
5,000m – 13:27.61 (2020)
10,000m – 28:10.05 (2018)
Half Marathon – 1:02:57 (2019)

MATT’S STORY
Born and raised in New Plymouth, New Zealand, Matt didn’t have plans to come to the United States for college until the end of his first year of University in New Zealand. After having success in cross country and track in New Zealand, he decided to begin contacting U.S. coaches. He hit it off with then Northern Arizona University coach Eric Heins and made the choice to come to Flagstaff. He came over and the rest is (NAU) history.

PRO STATS
Matt signed with HOKA NAZ Elite on January 1, 2019. His first race came in March at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships where we won his first senior national title–grabbing the win at 5,000 meters in 14:04.44. He then finished 46th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. In the summer he was second at the Oceania Championships before running the second-fastest 1500 and 5,000 times of his career. The fall of 2019 saw him record a win in his professional half marathon debut at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon (1:02:57). He kicked off 2020 in style with team records at 5,000 meters (13:27.61) and 3,000 meters (7:47.85), the former being a New Zealand National Indoor record as well. He was runner-up at the 2020 New Zealand Championships at 5,000 meters before a forced break from racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He returned with a fifth-place finish at the St. George Showdown 5,000 in July. Matt returned to New Zealand in September to prepare for a summer track season in the southern hemisphere. He kicked things off with a National Title at the New Zealand Road Race Championships at 10k, before a lower leg injury shortened his campaign.

After arriving back in Flagstaff in March of 2021, Matt got back to training and opened his outdoor season with a 13:30.57/third-place finish over 5,000 meters at the USATF Golden Games.

NCAA STATS
Matt will go down as a legend at NAU. In his three seasons of cross country in the NCAAA, he was 11th, 2nd and 15th individually with he and his teammates winning the overall team title each year. On the track his senior year he set PRs of 7:53.37 for 3,000 meters, 13:31.00 for 5,000 meters and 28:10.05 for 10,000 meters.

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