"30 Features in 30 Days". Terryville’s Tyler Raymond Becomes All-NEC Runner at CCSU. Story by John Torsiello.
"30 Features in 30 days". Former Terryville cross country star, Tyler Raymond is making a name for himself at CCSU. John Torsiello has the story of the former Kangaroo who is now an All-NEC runner.
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
Former Terryville High School star Tyler Raymond played a pivotal role in Central Connecticut State University winning its fifth straight men’s Northeast Conference cross-country championship Nov. 2 at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa.
The former All- Berkshire League runner, now a sophomore at the New Britain school, placed eighth overall on an overcast, chilly day in a time of 27:11, a minute and 12 seconds behind winner and teammate Craig Hunt. Raymond was the fourth Central runner across the line, as the Blue Devils dominated the meet, totaling 23 points to runner-up Robert Morris’ 93 points.
Raymond has personally far exceeded his goals at Central.
“The goals I had were to make the team for one, to be able to score for the team seeing as we have a really strong team this year, and to get All-Conference (top 14) in the NEC.” Consider all those goals reached. He added, “I feel that my season has gone better than expected. I accomplished much more than I anticipated I would have.”
As a freshman cross-country runner at Central, Raymond was named NEC Rookie of the Week, competed in five of the Blue Devils' eight meets, finished 23rd out of 115 runners at the CCSU Mini Meet, and placed 40th in his first NEC Championship meet with a time of 26:54.50. His best finish of the season came at the Quinnipiac Invitational in September where he ran unattached and claimed a silver medal. He was 142nd out of 260 runners and 167th of 239 at the All-New England Championships and NCAA Regionals, respectively.
This year he upped the ante. Prior to his outstanding run at the NEC Championships, Raymond placed 13th at the Father Bede Invitational at St. Francis University, and 21st at the Central Connecticut Mini Meet.
“I feel like I have improved dramatically since I have arrived at Central. I am now seeing the results I have always wanted to see and it amazes me how fast I am able to run now. I truly underestimate myself and after a race I am astonished at the time I get. The biggest surprise for me is how well I adapted and how much better I have gotten within the last year, let alone one season. I am surprised every race and practice at how much better I have gotten and how fast I can really run now.”
Raymond also runs track for Central and had a solid freshman season last spring.
He performed well at the Northeast Conference Championships where he placed 10th in the 10,000-meter run and 12th in the 5,000-meters, with times of 32:53.56 and 15:30.85, respectively. He also finished 10th of 22 runners in the 5,000-meters at the Holy Cross Invitational, crossing the finish line in 15:43.69, placed 34th out of 65 runners in the 1,500-meters at the UMass Invitational with a time of 4:13.10, and turned in a career-best time of 4:10.54 in the 1,500-meters at the UMass Preconference Meet.
Prior to attending Central, he was a standout for Terryville High School, being named Most Valuable performer for the school’s cross-country and track teams and earning the Coaches' Award for track. He chose Central because the school fit perfectly with what he was looking for, both academically and athletically.
“I saw a lot of people grow and develop within Central, the team was very welcoming and had a lot to offer, showing me that I would only improve and become an outstanding DI athlete. I saw Central as an opportunity to get better. The first year I arrived at Central was to me a time of adjustment. Since last year I have only gotten better and certainly feel that a year later I have become a much stronger athlete.”
Raymond, who is 5-feet, 6-inches and weighs around 120 ponds, spoke about the adjustment from high school to Division I athletics.
“There is a huge difference, the amount of training and dedication to running has really changed, and I am putting in a lot more miles since I have entered college. The workouts are a lot more challenging.”
His training consists of high mileage depending on the week of training, and “pretty hard workouts that only benefit me.” He added, “We run about 10 to 15 miles a day.”
Raymond began running when he was a youngster.
“I started running when I was really young with my father, who also ran, and he inspired me. I was one to pick up things very fast. It took me a little bit but I was soon getting better and better.”
Raymond, who will be running indoor and outdoor track for Central this year, talked about his high points thus far as a collegian.
“I would say our team winning the New England Championships the two years I’ve been here have been my best moments. Also, running at Des Moines (Iowa) at the Junior Nationals track and field championship was a thrill for me.”
The former Kangaroo star keeps in touch with his old high school teammates.
“I ran with a few friends from high school in the summer, and helped a few out that are still competing in high school.”
Raymond is in Central’s Exercise Science program and working towards a degree in physical therapy.
“My classes are going very well. When I’m not at practice I am usually studying or doing homework.”
Raymond is looking forward to competing at the NCAA Regionals and the IC4A/ECAC races with his teammates during the next few weeks. If he continues on his fast pace to stardom there is no telling where he will finish at the next race.