Ty McCormack is the kind of guy who doesn’t dwell too long on his accomplishments. After a successful sophomore cross country season at Clemson University, the North Hall High graduate is already thinking ahead to the list of many goals he’d like to meet during the spring indoor and outdoor track and field seasons with the Tigers.
McCormack is home right now for the holidays in Gainesville, but still focused on running twice a day. There’s not much time to rest when you have running a four-minute mile as your top goal for the spring season.
Still, he gained more of an edge this fall by running with the leaders of the race most of the season, even winning the Clemson Invitational against some of the other top programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Also, McCormack earned All-Conference honors after placing eighth in the ACC championships and then 18th out of about 250 competitors in the 10,000-meter Southeast Regionals on Nov. 12 in Louisville, Ky.
“I’m focused on getting as much experience as I can and running with the top guys in the NCAA,” said McCormack, who noted his times are already matching up with standards to run professionally. “I finished top 20 in most of my races this season.”
McCormack always feels like he’s got something to prove as a runner. He said placing second in the state championship meet his senior season with the Trojans left him carrying a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
“I’m a really self-motivated runner,” said
McCormack, who will redshirt next fall with the Tigers while studying abroad in China as a requirement for his language and international trade major. However, McCormack, who is fluent in mandarin Chinese, thinks that experience will be a blessing for his running as he’ll be in an area at about 7,000 feet above sea level to train.
Before heading off to Asia next fall, McCormack is going to have a busy spring at Clemson running the steeple chase, five-kilometer and 10K in the outdoor track schedule, along with the one-mile in the indoor portion.
After cross country season ended, McCormack did a time trial in the 1,600 meter and finished at 4 minutes, 7.9 seconds. If things go according to schedule, he’d like to qualify for the Olympic Trials next summer to get a taste of running against that caliber of competition. McCormack is already ensured a full fifth season at Clemson to run since he redshirted his freshman year of track and field.
For measuring his progress, McCormack has already looked into US standards he needs to run in other distances. In the 5K, which is the same 3.1 mile as high school cross country, he needs to run a 14-minute time. Then in the 10,000 meter, or 6.2 mile, he needs to get down in the neighborhood of a 29 minutes — that’s less than two minutes he needs to shave off his 30:32 time from the Southeast Regionals.
“This year, I improved my time by a minute over what I ran as a freshman,” McCormack said.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Tigers’ distance runner with the track season scheduled to begin in just three weeks at the Virginia Tech Invitational.