Feb. 26, 2009
From the Gridiron to the Track to Houston
By Maggie Corwin '12
The 2008-09 school year has been very busy for first-year student-athlete Tyler Shaw. Besides hitting the books, Tyler has found the time to compete on Northwest's football and track teams. Choosing to redshirt this past football season, Tyler has been very involved in track competitions.
Shaw comes to Northwest from Lutheran North High School in St. Louis and enjoys keeping busy competing in two sports as a wide receiver and hurdler.
"I came to Northwest because it's close to home and I felt like this is where I could get the best education yet still play two sports," said Shaw. "I feel like I can continue to participate in both football and track with hard work, mental toughness and by staying focused on what needs to be done."
"There are some guys that definitely want to come and do both sports and Tyler is one of them," said Northwest Head Track and Field Coach Scott Lorek. "He loves both sports."
"I'm not a football player who does track, or a runner who likes to play football," said Shaw. "I'm just a person who loves competition and I treat both sports equally."
Shaw's love for competition showed during his performance at the first track meet in Nebraska when he provisionally qualified and came within a tenth of a second of beating Northwest's record, 8.15 seconds, for the 60-meter hurdles.
Being provisionally qualified means Shaw possibly has a chance at competing in nationals.
"I hate saying this, but as of right now I think Tyler is in," said Lorek. "As of two weeks ago he was ranked fourth nationally, and nationals accept 13-16 people. I don't think Tyler will drop low enough even if he doesn't improve anymore, at least it would be tough for him to do so. But you never know."
"I am very excited," said Shaw. "I didn't even know I ran that well until they (my coaches) told me I could go to nationals. I have never been to Houston, so I can't wait for the opportunity. I am going to do whatever I can to make sure I get there."
"I had expected Tyler to do well in the race," said Lorek, "but I thought he would run an 8.40. I was very impressed with his time of 8.16."
The next meet at Central Missouri gave Shaw another shot at the record, and this time he was successful. In Shaw's third race of the season, he broke the school record with a time of 8.09.
"I didn't know how Tyler was going to adjust to the 3-inch difference in hurdles from high school to college, but I was surprised in a good way," said Lorek, "Tyler still has technical problems with how he comes off the hurdle, but he is working on it."
"I feel like all I can do is improve as long as I keep working like I do now," said Shaw. "When I race, I visualize winning and I try to stay focused by blocking out all noise around me. I don't have an off-season. I am constantly working on becoming better. If I'm not running track, then I'm working on football and vice-versa."
"I think that he's going to continue to get better and better," said Lorek, "I have seen things that tell me he is not even close to as fast as he is capable of running."
Shaw and the Bearcats will compete at the 2009 MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Central Missouri University in Warrensburg, Mo., Friday thru Sunday. Shaw is scheduled to compete in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Finals for the event are set for 2:35 p.m. Sunday. Shaw's season-best time of 8.09 seconds is currently the second-best mark in the MIAA and is fifth-best in the nation.
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