MIDDLEFIELD—Growing up in a family of runners, Tyler Polman doesn’t have to look far for motivation. He entered Saturday’s Cardinal Invitational with the intent of knocking off his brother Ryan’s course record.
Polman finished the race in 15:46 to beat the previous record by over 10 seconds.
“I was going into the race thinking, it was 15:58ish, so I was just trying to go after it and just tried to pace myself to be where I’d be on pace,” Polman said. “I guess it went well today because it happened.”
According to Independence coach Craig Polman, Ryan previously set the record on a dry, fast course. The conditions on Saturday were similar.
“It helped a lot,” Tyler said. “The past four years it’s been really muddy. I’ve been used to the muddiness of the course. Today was dry and it looked good. I was just thinking, you know it would be a good day to push myself and get after the record.”
Polman was forced to push himself as no other runner challenged for the lead.
The second place finisher was 43 seconds behind Polman.
“It’s really difficult,” Polman said of racing against time rather than an opponent. “You just kind of have to focus on your pace. I was lucky; I was wearing a watch today so I knew what my paces were at. It’s a lot more challenging without people but I just kind of felt throughout my legs and everything that I was pushing hard and working after I so I just kind of knew how I was feeling throughout the race that I was kind of close to the record and I just kept pushing myself towards it.”
Matt Mroczynski finished the race in 18:43, good for 28th place overall, and Joe Wisniewski ran a time of 20:58.
Dana Zaccardelli finished third in the girls race with a time of 19:48, just four seconds behind the second place runner and Emma Wensink finished 50th with a time of 24:47.