Alverson finishes season strong at Cross Country Nationals

Alverson finishes season strong at Cross Country Nationals

Mon, Nov. 21, 2016 - [Men's Cross Country]

Matt Barker, Sports Information Director

HENDERSON, Tenn. - The 2016 Cross Country season could not have gone much better for Tyler Alverson, as he not only qualified for the NAIA National Championship, but he also finished in the top half of runners across the country. Not bad for a freshman in his first season with the Lions.

Alverson's 2016 Season At a Glance

September 17- Freed Speed Open, Henderson, Tenn. / 1st Place Finish out 30 runners / Time- 27:38

October 8- Fast Cats Classic, Owensboro, Ky. / 8th Place Finish out of 134 runners / Time- 26:28

October 22-  St. Louis Fall Classic, St. Louis, Mo. / 6th Place Finish out of 107 runners / Time- 26:15

November 4- AMC Championships, O'Fallon, Ill. / 3rd Place Finish out of 89 runners / Time- 26:13

November 19- Cross Country Nationals / Elsah Ill. / Finished 154 out of 331 / Time - 26:21

Recently, we had a chance to chat with Alverson regarding his thoughts on the 2016 season.

1. What do you think is the single most thing that has prepared you for having success this season?
I think that what prepared me the most for this cross country season was the training that I did during the summer. I really tried to train hard during the summer so that I could be ready to go when I got to FHU. 
2. What is the most enjoyable part for you in regard to competing?
The most enjoyable part of competing for me is seeing how far I can push my limits. I also love to see my teammates push their limits; they put in so much hard work this season and did some great things.
3. What training did you receive at the high school level in Lebanon, Tenn? How did that help you in your first season with the Lions?
At Friendship Christian School, I went through a lot of hard training. We did a lot of hard workouts; however, I think that what my high school coach, Greg Armstrong, taught me about running is what really helped me this season. When it comes to running, he taught me that I should always be content with my times, take time to enjoy the sport, and give my very best effort all of the time. Those lessons stuck with me this season and really helped me to keep going. 
4. As a freshman, you have already taken home first place honors (Freed Speed Open) and finished in the top half of runners in the NAIA (154 out of 331). What have you done this season to ensure that level of success?
 I think that getting out and running every day had a very large impact on my results this season. The constant encouragement and support of my family, friends, coaches, and teammates was also a huge factor. 
5. What was it like running in Nationals? What was your first reaction on the day of the race?
Running at Nationals was a very humbling experience for me. To have the opportunity to race against so many great runners from all over the country was such a great experience. My first reaction to running in this race was excitement, mixed with a little bit of nervousness. I was excited to run the race and compete, but I was also a little nervous based on the high competition level and the number of people present. 
6. Tell me a little bit about your family. Does anybody else in your family run? Are they able to attend a majority of your events?
My family is great. Whenever I got into running my sophomore year of high school, my parents started to run a little bit. They have competed in several 5k's and continue to run a few times a week as a form of exercise. Sometimes, me and my dad have the time to run together; I have such great memories of me and my dad running together. Every single race I ran in this season, my parents were there. More times than not, my grandparents and sister were there as well. The fact that they are willing to drive far distances just to watch me run means so much to me. My family is so supportive; I am very thankful for that.
7. How did you get into running cross country/track? When did you realize that running was something you could be successful?
I got into running cross country during the first semester of my sophomore year. At that time, I had no interest in running; I was a basketball player. Before the basketball season began that year, my basketball coach made our team condition with the cross country team every day after school. Everyone on that basketball team saw this as complete torture. A few weeks into conditioning with the cross country team, the cross country coach approached me and said, "Tyler, you have been doing all of the practices for cross country. Why not just run the meets?" That made a lot of sense to me. From that moment, I joined the cross country team and absolutely fell in love with the sport. 
8. How is running at the collegiate level different than your experience in high school?
Running at the collegiate level is more competitive than running at the high school level. For the most part, collegiate runners are experienced in racing; I believe that creates a higher standard of competition. Also, the race distance for college cross country is about two miles farther than the race distance for high school cross country. During the first few races, that extra two miles seemed like a pretty long way! 
9. How would you sum up your first year with the Lion cross country program?
This first cross country season at FHU has been nothing short of amazing. The coaches are great at not only motivating us physically but also motivating us spiritually; that is my favorite aspect of the cross country program at FHU, it is Christ centered. My teammates are the absolute best; we were able to share so many good times and laughs throughout the season. This program is a great fit for me and I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a small part of it.
10. What is your favorite memory this season with the Lion cross country program?
My favorite memory from this past cross country season is traveling to and competing in the National Championship. Being such a great and humbling opportunity, this race will always stand out in my mind.