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Shipley sizzles in sophomore seasons

Forest Grove native Tyler Shipley enjoys a sensational year running for Pacific

by: COURTESY PHOTO: D3PHOTOGRAPHY.COM - Pacific sophomore Tyler Shipley runs to a 10th-place finish in the 5,000 meters last month at the NCAA Division III track and field championships at Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio.Brilliant.

That is probably the best way to describe the super sophomore season of Tyler Shipley.

The Forest Grove native and Pacific University standout in cross-country and track and field started his year out in strong fashion, and he just kept getting stronger from fall to spring, setting school records, winning league titles and qualifying for the second and third national meets of his young college career.

In all, it was an impressive effort that spanned the entire school year, with Shipley’s quality showing from the get-go in the fall. Early on, he ran the second-fastest 8-kilometer cross-country time in school history with a 24 minute, 49.29 second showing at the Sundodger Invitational in mid-September.

In early November, he placed second in the Northwest Conference Championships and followed that with a seventh-place result at the west regional meet in mid-November to qualify for the NCAA Division III national championships for a second time.

At that meet, in late November in Indiana, Shipley took 164th place, improving greatly upon his 253rd-place showing as a freshman in 2012.

“It was a great season, and although he is disappointed in the race ... it was much better than 2012 and he was in good position early,” Pacific coach Tim Boyce said. “He will learn from this as he did last year. We’re proud of him as always; he represented the Boxers well during this cross-country campaign and will be back better than ever.”

Shipley also was named the Northwest Conference athlete of the week four times for his efforts.

Next, during Pacific’s brief indoor season, Shipley set the school record in the 5,000 meters in February.

But it was in the spring that Shipley was perhaps at his best, as he broke longstanding school records in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

The standard in the longer distance came first, in early April at a meet in San Francisco. His time of 30:24.44 easily bested the school record, which at the start of the season was 31:21.2, a time recorded by Russ Rodriguez in 1978.

Shipley later obliterated an even older record, the 5,000 standard, at an invitational in California in early May. His time of 14:27.26 eclipsed Roger Hansen’s 14:36.8 from 1976.

The Boxer super sophomore also repeated as champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 at the NWC Championships in late April to lead the Boxer men to match their program-best with a second-place finish. Shipley was named the men’s track athlete of the meet for the second year in a row for his efforts.

Not only were Shipley’s new personal bests this spring fast enough to be school records, but they were also good enough to land Shipley spots in the NCAA Division III national championships in Ohio in both races. Late last month, he finished 18th in the 10,000 and then put the finishing touches on his second year of college running with a 10th-place result in the 5,000, just two spots away from his first All-American honor.

“It was a great effort to end a very special season for Tyler,” Boyce said. “I am super proud of him and how he competed at his first NCAA track and field championship. He represented the Boxers very well.”

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