Tyler Fisher quit his high school basketball team because it was too much running. Ironically, then quit the cross country team his freshman year. However, the Port Charlotte standout didn't want to be defined as a quitter. He made himself go back after his freshman track season because deep down he knew he couldn't stop running. He says he is extremely glad he stuck with it.
"It has literally given me a path in life both for self enjoyment and for college tuition. I would tell others to just do what they love and never stop."
Over the past three years, he has seen his times drop from 17 minutes to the low 16's. In any other classification, that would be a top five time, but not in 3A. His season best of 16:01.40 from the North Port XC Invitational is the 15th best time in 3A. He has run under 16:05 six times in his career. The senior is so close to breaking that barrier, that even his athletic director had a little fun with him.
"He made me a plaque at the end last cross country season with my exact PR just to remind me that I hadn't broken 16 minutes. When you asked in our interview at north port if I would call it a barrier I would say no its more of a cover for me actually. I'm gaining ground on every fast runner in the state at the races where no one goes under 16 and i'm not present when they do."
Fisher has two wins on the year; the Lemon Bay Invitational, Bradenton Runners Club Invitational, and was fourth on a muddy North Port course. He is looking to break that barrier this weekend at FLR 15. Last year, he was second in the boys large school race behind 4A runner-up James Zentemeyer of Sickles, and still carries a chip on his shoulder.
"I wasn't good enough to run in the elite race. I am not sure whose decision that was, but it was a bit frustrating."
This year he will be with the top guys in the Race of Champions and says he is ready to go.
"I look forward to the competition because I'll finally be at a race where the fast guys, who I always run with, actually break 16:00. I don't see any way I can come out of this race without a big PR, a school record, and hopefully a good finishing position. I am going to everything I can to have the best race of my life."