Filipek ends career at nationals
June 7, 2010 —
Upon joining SVSU, Tony Filipek wanted to break SVSU’s record in the indoor and outdoor 800-meter run.
After breaking the indoor record in the GLIAC championships in 2010, he entered the final collegiate race of his career, the 2010 outdoor national championships held in Charlotte, N.C., with one last shot to break the outdoor record.
A third place finish and a time of 1:49.38 broke the previous record of allowed him to do just that.
“That’s what I came here to do,” Filipek. “I told people I was going to do that my first year here. I can’t imagine not achieving what I set out to do.”
The finish earned him All American honors — the second time he has achieved the award.
Filipek was the seventh seed entering the national championships. It was the fourth consecutive year he qualified for the meet. The experience he gained in past years helped calm his nerves.
“There’s always anxiety going in, but I was pretty comfortable,” Filipek said. “I could see other competitors walking up to the line with their heads down, being really serious. I could feel the tension.”
He had a large number of family members at the meet also helped him remain calm.
“I had 11 family members there,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re by yourself, it makes a difference. It almost felt like a high school meet.”
Looking back on a track career that began as a sophomore in high school, Filipek finds it pretty remarkable he has achieved all that he has.
“I remember walking through the hallways my freshman year here looking at all the All American pictures on the wall,” he said. “I set out to have my picture up there, and I think I’ve done that.”
Along with his All American honors, Filipek has amassed numerous awards throughout his career. Other notable achievements include: threetime GLIAC champion, Indoor Midwest Track Athlete of the Year, indoor GLIAC championship record holder and 2010 team MVP.
Filipek has proven that he can compete with some of the top runners in the nation. However, when it comes to his family’s weight loss competition that ended last week, brother-in-law Eric Weber got the best of Filipek.
“He lost 17 pounds, which was the best in the family,” Filipek said. “I only lost three.”
The national championship meet was the perfect end to a glorious career.
“It was a great career at SVSU,” Filipek said. “ I couldn’t have wrote it up any differently.