Matthews recorded a hammer throw of 188 feet, 10 inches (57.55m), on his final toss, finishing runner-up to Belmont's Del McSpadden. He bettered his mark of 56.44 meters from the second throw of the competition.
"Nick had been sick all week so I was happy with how he performed today," said SIUE Head Coach Scott Block.
Alec Dutton turned in a strong effort for fifth place overall. His final throw of 177-3 (54.02m) was an improvement on his throw that helped him advance to the finals.
Lauren White finished the first four of seven events in the women's heptathlon. She currently resides in second place with 3,080 points. She trails Murray State's Jabreuna Brimlett by 48 points.
The final three events will be contested Friday with the long jump, the javelin and the 800. This is the first time White has competed in the heptathlon.
"She did incredible," said SIUE jumps coach Joey Pacione, who is coaching a multi-event athlete for the first time as well. "She came out her first event (100 hurdles) and had a personal best by a really big amount and carried that through the rest of the day."
White went on to leap 5-4.5 (1.64m) in the high jump and win the shot put with a toss of 36-3 (11.05m). Her 200-meter time (25.38) was the third best in the field of 10 competitors.
Erin Kennedy took eighth place in the first women's distance event of the Championships. She ran the 10,000 in 37 minutes, 54.11 seconds. Jess Clarke was 15th in the 10,000 at 38:56.01 followed by Allie Sweatt in 18th at 40:00.11.
Lizzie Virgl and Claire Nolan placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the women's hammer throw. Virgl's best toss was 163-11.5 (49.97m) while Nolan came in at 159-6.75 (48.63m). Michaela Smith added a personal best at 124-7.5 (37.84m) in placing 17th.
Caleb Seagren recorded a personal best in the men's hammer throw at 137-3.5 (41.84m).
As a team, the SIUE men's team is in second place with 15 points. Eastern Illinois currently leads with 23. The SIUE women's team is tied for fifth place with Eastern Kentucky after scoring four points on the opening day. Southeast Missouri is the women's team leader with 22 points.
After the decathlon and heptathlon events finish up, the men's long jump begins the field events at 1 p.m. Friday. The track events start at 3 p.m. with the women's 100 hurdles.