AMES, Iowa – Arkansas’ strength and conditioning coach for the men’s and women’s track and field programs will be inducted into the Ames High School athletic hall of fame Thursday.
Clark is a 2005 graduate of Ames High school and was a four-year track and cross country letter winner. He finished in the top-three 10-times at the state track meet, and was an all-state cross country team member in 2004.
Clark was a 13-time state medalist and three-time junior olympic All-American in the decathlon. He was also the 2004 and 2005 state pentathlon champion while winning the state high jump title in 2005.
A 2009 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Clark excelled as one of the top decathletes for the Panthers, earning three All-America honors and a spot at the 2008 Olympic Trials under the guidance of current Razorback assistant coach Travis Geopfert.
“It’s been a privilege to know Mat for the past 12 years,” said Geopfert. “We’ve had the fortune to recruit him out of Ames High, Coach him at UNI and now work alongside him at Arkansas. His passion and enthusiasm for our sport was cultivated at a young age in Ames, Iowa.”
After graduating from Northern Iowa, Clark was a three-time USA member on the Thorpe Cup team (2010, 2011, 2012) and was a 2017 USA Championships Qualifier.
“He’s carried that passion with him through the years and has made himself into an elite decathlete and now one of the best NCAA strength coaches in the country,” Geopfert continued. “Ames High School has a storied tradition in track and field with super stars like Jeff Burris, Dustin Avey, Chris Wycoff, Aaron Greving, and Greg Garn to name a few. Mat Clark’s name now sits amongst the elite where it belongs.”
Clark has helped develop several current and former Razorbacks, including Jarrion Lawson, Omar McLeod and Clive Pulled to nationals success at the USATF and Jamaica National Olympic Trials. He assisted the trio not only to success within their respective country championships, but also to success at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with McLeod racing to a gold medal in to 110 hurdles.
“Mat Clark has been a game-changer for our program. His foundation in the sport was built at Ames High School, one of the iconic programs in Iowa and maybe even the country,” said head coach Chris Bucknam. “We were fortunate to be able to recruit and coach Mat at Northern Iowa, where he was an NCAA post-graduate scholarship winner and an All-American. We were thrilled to be able to bring him to Arkansas”
Clark is entering his sixth season as the program’s strength and conditioning coach.
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