The first Carroll County cross country runner to earn All-State honors in head coach Pat Sharp’s 20-year tenure, Tyler Barrett has also been named to the All-Timesland First Team.
Barrett wrapped up a superb senior season in November, placing 12th out of 102 state qualifiers in the Group 4-A Cross Country Championships at The Plains, Va. Barrett finished the 3.1-mile course in 16:49, completing a senior season in which his times continued to improve as the season went along.
“He just dedicated himself to running. He was doing morning runs, coming up and doing three or four miles before school and then he would do our workout after school, which was six to eight miles. He was doing 12 or 13 miles a day and it seemed to work well for him,” Sharp said. “He also ran all summer. His missed state by about three seconds his junior year, which I think was his motivating factor. He was consistent the whole season.”
Indeed, Barrett finished third in the Becky Selfe Invitational and second in the Randy Smith, Grayson River and Walker’s Run events. He bettered those finishes by winning the Buffalo Stampede Cross Country Invitational in Floyd and the Giles Invitational. In the Conference 24 Championships, Barrett really began to hit his stride, winning the boys’ championship by a full 20 seconds ahead of the next closest runner.
Barrett followed that up by placing 10th in the 4-A West Region and 12th in the state.
“I think the harder the workouts got and the longer I ran, the better I got,” Barrett said of his continued improvement. “I worked really hard the past couple of years to be able to do that. I usually ran 10 to 11 miles a day, but there were some days I ran 13 miles.”
Barrett said he didn’t even know he had made the All-Timesland team (named for The Roanoke Times’ coverage area) until he was contacted for this article. He said it was a great and unexpected honor to finish his cross country career.
“We didn’t even know about it until you told us and we went to The Roanoke Times and found it. I was very surprised,” Barrett said. “It was cool seeing my name on this list of other runners I ran against.”
Coach Sharp said Roanoke College and UNC-Asheville have been talking to Barrett about continuing his cross country career. He’s also shown interest in several other schools, especially Liberty University, but said academics are his first priority.
“I’m not basing it on cross country. I am looking at academics more than anything. I would like to study prelaw criminal justice and become a lawyer – a defense attorney,” Barrett said. “I would like to continue to run, but I am looking at academics first.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on [email protected]