Just in his second year at Pacific, Tyler Shipley has already managed to muster accolades not many have the chance for in an entire four year career.
So far this season, Shipley’s performances in each cross country meet have earned him four Northwest Conference Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors; a perfect four for four that is.
This time he completed his usual 8,000-meter run in a time of 24:54.71, his second fastest this year.
The only competitors to finish the race before him were four Division II athletes.
Despite his record setting times and establishment as one of the best runners in the conference, Shipley is still not satisfied.
“I’m pretty happy, but I definitely feel there is a lot more improvement to be made. My performances have been good, but I expected a little bit more,” said Shipley. “We’ll really see how successful the season is in the upcoming weeks with conference regional’s. Those are the races that really matter, and this is just getting ready for those.”
It is true that the championships are approaching quickly.
The final meet before the post-season is the Lewis and Clark Invitational, which will take place on Oct. 19.
Aside from competing in the championships, Shipley has other personal goals in mind.
“I would like to be All-American, and that is really the main goal,” he said.
To be named to the All-American team, a runner must finish in the top 35 at the national meet.
Surprisingly, these high aspirations came about not too long ago.
Even more surprising is that Shipley has been running this competitively for only four years.
Shipley said he got into running because his brother ran at Pacific.
“I figured I might as well give it a shot,” said Shipley.
“In my freshman and sophomore year of high school, to be honest, I really didn’t like running at all. I just did it as more of a social event. Just as time went on, I got more and more addicted to running,” said Shipley. “Toward the end of my junior year is when I really started taking it seriously. It just kept progressing from there.”
At the end of his senior year, after recovering from a stress fracture, Shipley qualified for the state championships.
There he won the title of district champion in cross country.
“Other than that I really wasn’t that successful. Most of my growth has come here at Pacific,” said Shipley.
The mindset Shipley said he has always kept is to just keep working hard to grow little by little.