Shue shine: From State gold to National 800-meter champion

By on June 19, 2019
Only three weeks after winning State gold, Ephrata’s Tyler Shue took home the National championship in the 800-meter run last Saturday, turning in a personal-best time of 1:50.39 in Greensboro, N.C

Only three weeks after winning State gold, Ephrata’s Tyler Shue took home the National championship in the 800-meter run last Saturday, turning in a personal-best time of 1:50.39 in Greensboro, N.C

 

 

 

Down the home stretch of the 800-meter run last Saturday, Tyler Shue had plenty of motivation.

A rising senior at Ephrata, Shue was being chased for the lead by a pack of hungry competitors.

“They all had as much raw speed as me, so that last 100, honestly, I was running terrified,” he said.

Turned out that Shue’s raw speed was a little bit better on this day, as he held on to win the gold medal at the 29th New Balance Outdoor Nationals at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. and take home All-America honors in a PR time of 1:50.39.

That was more than a second faster than his State gold medal-clinching effort of 1:51.55 on May 25 at Shippensburg University.

And it was enough to hold off runner-up Luis Peralta, of New Jersey, who won silver in 1:51.09.

“It felt great,” Shue said. “Going for (State gold) for three years and being able to get that, and then qualifying for Nationals was just another whole level and it meant a lot because I put in so much effort, the coaches put in so much effort and it just feels real good to finally put that medal around my neck.”

Having done a lot of endurance-type workouts this season seemed to pay off for Shue.

“Going into that last lap, I felt a lot more comfortable than I usually do,” he said. “So I knew that I would have enough in the tank to finish well.”

The “stacked” field didn’t hurt either. Peralta, of Passaic High School’s Class of 2019, is a University of Oregon recruit. Bronze-medalist Conor Murphy (1:51.30), of Rhode Island, is a reigning 1,000-meter indoor champ.

“There was a lot of pressure going into the race,” said Shue, who was honored at Monday’s Ephrata school board meeting along with his teammates who qualified for States. “I just knew that everyone around me would be going fast and it would carry me to a fast time. So leading up to the race, in training, I did a lot of 300s and that gave me confidence for that final lap. I think that’s what really made the difference.”

Through the first 500 meters of the race, in fact, Shue found himself in fourth or fifth place.

But then the reigning PIAA champ made his move with about 300 meters left, darting around the lead pack and into first place with 200 to go.

“At States, I was leading the whole race, so personally it was harder to stay motivated in that race than (Nationals) because I was in the middle of the pack for the majority of the time,” Shue said. “So I always had someone pushing me, whereas at States, I was running by myself the whole time.”

Overall, the top seven finishers were separated by less than two seconds, so Shue was running terrified up until the time he crossed the finish line.

“I never really knew I had it until the very end of my race,” he said, “because I knew the people coming behind me all had strong kicks.”

None stronger than Shue’s, however.

“It was awesome,” he said of the experience. “The atmosphere itself was just really special.”

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