You think you can run fast? I bet you can’t run faster than Tyler Smith. You see, the Wetaskiwin raised 18 year old is the fastest high school 800 metre runner in North America. Tyler is recently back from a meet in Seattle called the Brooks PR where the top 10 high school runners in North America gathered. Tyler has owned this event for the last two years in a row which is quite an accomplishment. This last month has been very exciting for Tyler with three weeks spent in Phoenix training with the Canadian Olympic team, and five days in Seattle for the Brooks PR Track Meet.
The 6’ 175 pound Wetaskiwin Comp High School student has to have understanding teachers as he is away from his half day schedule quite frequently. Tyler however is very committed to school and has recently received an Academic Scholarship to the University of Victoria starting this fall. Being based in Victoria will be a perfect fit for Tyler as his Olympic team coach is also out of Victoria. After his running career is over Tyler would like to give back to the system as a teacher.
How fast is he exactly? Well how about 1:47:09 over 800 metres. His time is 0.2 off the North America record for high school athletes. Tyler’s time is so fast that his 400 m split would be almost fast enough to set a provincial record in the 400m. Tyler is able to carry this pace over a full 800m. Last June as a 17 year old he was the 7th fastest in the world. Pretty lofty standards for a guy that was born premature with asthma.
Tyler is a carded athlete which means he gets financial support from athletics Canada. To be carded you have to be in the top two in your discipline. While in Wetaskiwin he is going to school and training at the Leduc Track Club. If these guys at the Leduc Track want to run, a little snow doesn’t get in their way. Last week they had their shovels out trying to clear snow from the track. According to Tyler “they got 200m of two lanes shoveled”. Luckily for them spring is around the corner.
Tyler is currently doing a transition to an Olympic training program. He has had a chance to practice “with some of the best’. An 800 metre runner has to be able to handle the superhuman effort required to run the 800 full out. An example of one of Tyler’s training repertoires would be something called interval training. How about 200m followed by 2 min. rest, 300m 2min. rest, 400m 2 min. rest, followed by another 400m and 2min. rest, 300m 2 min rest, 200m 2 min. rest. All of this would be done at his 800m pace. If you haven’t figured it out already Tyler’s sustained pace over 800m would be faster than your sustained pace over 100m, and then some. There are different ways of pushing the human body to its limit. Tyler is under a lot of pressure because he is #1. “Knowing that you are #1 and can’t lose makes things pretty intense. Everybody wants to knock you off, so you can’t let your guard down”. Tyler pushes very hard in his races. At this level “you do it or you don’t”.
Tyler’s main competition from Canada is Brandon McBride who is presently running in the NCAA. Between Tyler and Brandon the two of them have pushed each other to lower the Canadian Youth 800 m record. Tyler’s immediate goal is the Pan Am games in Peru in August and he is hoping for a medal. An even bigger goal would be in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 for the next Summer Olympics.
Tyler credits his Mother for being his main motivator in life and sport. His hobbies include basketball, snowboarding, guitar, and like any 18 yr. old video games. However cooking is his favorite hobby. Like all athletes he likes to eat. Tyler loves his sport and is well poised to take it to the next level. Next up for Tyler is the Edmonton Journal Games on Mar.16th to which he has already qualified for the final. Good luck to this articulate young man in his upcoming meets and as he heads off to U of Vic in the fall. Stay tuned for more on Tyler.
- Rugby Action Begins High School Rugby began last week with a number of games. The Leduc girls hosted Fort Saskatchewan on Tuesday, May 7th and ran out to and early lead, but were stung late in the game by the Stingers as Fort Saskatchewan ...
- WHL Bantam Draft Picks Local Player The annual ritual of the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft was held on May 2nd. Elite Bantam hockey players from Western Canada and the US were on the radar screen. WHL teams such as the Edmonton Oil Kings, Red Deer ...
- Sabres Den Project Needs Support How about a sports team without heat, running water or washrooms in their dressing room? Welcome to the plight of the Wetaskiwin Composite High School Football Sabres. For the past number of years the Sabres have used the ...