Sports & Outdoors

Shipley sets Puget Sound record during UW Invitational

Senior Tyler Shipley (Forest Grove, Oregon) ran at the University of Washington Invitational on Jan. 29 and set a University record of 14:28 in the 5000 meter race. Shipley surpassed the former Puget Sound record by a little more than 14 seconds, set by Francis Reynolds in 2009.

Shipley placed fifth overall in the race that included many runners from Division I schools such as Seattle University, Boise State, Washington State and Gonzaga University. However, this is just one of the many accomplishments that Shipley has earned in his senior season.

Earlier this year, Shipley took home awards as the Northwest Conference Runner of the Year and the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association West Region Male Athlete of the Year. Add those to the multiple NWC Student-Athlete of the week accolades that he won during the season and it forms a resume that would make anyone impressed.

Shipley isn’t stopping there. He’s looking to become an All-American.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for something I really enjoy doing… and something I’m really passionate about, but the whole goal is to be an All-American. It’s the one really elusive goal that hasn’t come yet and it keeps me hungry,” Shipley said.

A combination of things push him to perform at such a high level, but one that stands out is the competition and support from his teammate and friend, junior Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski (Forest Grove, Oregon).

“We are both really competitive, so playing cards, board games and FIFA against each other is fun. It can get really heated and beating him might be one of my favorite things in the world. Besides that he’s reliable whenever I need something from him and he’s a calming presence in my life. I tend to get stressed easily and he’s always really relaxed,” Lizier-Zmudzinski said.

Shipley voiced similar thoughts.

“Having Geremia is a big help in having someone who relates in what I’m trying to do and someone that has similar goals to mine and is really successful runner and having someone to do all of my runs with really helps,” Shipley said.

Shipley’s coach Mike Orechia has also had a major impact on his success.

“His dedication, his work ethic, his knowledge of the sport and the desire to be great… He accepts the awards in the intent that they are presented and meant for. It’s not something he works towards, it’s just a by-product of all of the hard work he puts in and the dedication he puts in,” Orechia said.

Lizier-Smudzinski voiced his thoughts on the importance of Shipley’s work ethic to his success.

“His work ethic is impressive. It has to be in order for him to run as much as he does while lifting and taking care of himself by sleeping and eating well.”

As to why Shipley might have that extra edge in running, Orechia looks to his past history in wrestling.

“I don’t think a lot of people know that he was a wrestler when he was younger…they’re very intense and he’s got some of that wrestler’s mentality that he carries over as far as competing goes,” Orechia said.

It can be hard to keep the drive for running in the way that Shipley does, putting in 100-110 miles of running per week, but he does it. He explained how.

“It basically comes down to self-satisfaction I guess, every time you finish a run you get… a runner’s high. You feel accomplished at some level and that’s what keeps the repetitive act of running over and over again. It’s always self-satisfying and no matter how bad it was and no matter how much you don’t want to get out of the door, when the run’s done you’re always happy you did it,” Shipley said.

Shipley will compete in races and continue to train for nationals as part of the 10,000-meter heat in May. With the drive and competitiveness that he brings, it would surprise no one if he placed first.