[Tyler Tubman racing at the Terrier Classic on 1/30/2022 captured by Cole Bolduc.]
Being a high school athlete isn't easy these days. The pandemic turned the glory days into the dog days (not to get into the staggering human and societal cost here).
Tyler Tubman is a high school junior from Massachusetts. His potential as a runner was clear early on. As an 8th grader, he stormed the streets of the Back Bay on marathon weekend to win the BAA boys invitational 1000m run. His freshman cross country season opened strong but by second semester, the pandemic raged into all of our lives and sports stopped.
Now, as captain of Newton North's indoor track team, he's making the most of a challenging indoor season that's always under threat. The Reggie Lewis Center, the epicenter of high school running in eastern mass, was floated as mass testing site (it served as a mass vaccination site in 2021). Athletes perform under speed dampening safety protocols like racing with a mask in hopes of slowing transmission of COVID-19. These rules are tightest for high school athletes (relative to college & the pros) and can present a problem for athletes with scholarship potential. That's why this weekend Tyler went rogue.
The Terrier Classic is a premier event for collegiate, amateur, and professional track and field athletes. If you have a recent standard, you can register as an individual. This season Tyler ran a 4:19 mile in a mask with training shoes on. At BU's indoor oval this weekend, as an unattached athlete racing outside the bounds of high school procedures like masks and track saving measures like wearing trainers to race, Tyler can strap on the super spikes (ZoomX Dragonflies) and set a new standard for himself.
We flowed him an early sample of the new Heartbreaker team kit for the occasion.
The result: 4:16.2. Tyler's still chasing.
Photos by Cole Bolduc @colebolducphotography