Ty Steorts Could Make West Virginia History At Garmin RXC3

* Ty Steorts finishes second at the adidas Cross Country Challenge and will be a top contender at the RunningLane Cross Country Championships.

Photo Credit: Dan Loughlin/MileSplit North Carolina

"I crossed the line and I was like, 'Oh my God, I just went sub-15:00.' I literally said that out loud."

When Hurricane (WV) sophomore Ty Steorts glanced at the clock as he crossed the finish line, he couldn't believe the time staring back at him.

It was his sophomore season opener at the Dutch Miller Invitational -- and he exceeded all expectations for the debut race in August. Never did Steorts imagine that he would not only win the invitational meet, but go under 15 minutes for 5k for the first time of his young career.

"I crossed the line and I was like, 'Oh my God, I just went sub-15:00,'" Steorts said. "I literally said that out loud."

But Steorts also had no idea that his winning time of 14:56.40 ranked him No. 2 all-time in West Virginia history for the cross country 5k.

In fact, it was news to him almost three months removed from that historic performance.

"I didn't know that until just now," he said.

Maybe that's just in-line with his humble-yet-determined mentality, an underclassman still realizing his elite potential both in West Virginia and nationally.

Now, Steorts is a West Virginia Class 3A state champion, and he'll toe the line next weekend at the RunningLane Cross Country Championships hoping to continue progressing as the newest face of an evolving West Virginia distance community and a top underclassmen in the country.

He's also only three seconds away from appending a West Virginia 5k record that's remained untouched for 40 years. RunningLane could be one of the final stages for Steorts to make that history happen in 2022.

But record or not this December, the sophomore hopes to play the long game and continue developing into a national contender.

"I want to stay consistent with what I'm doing and smart with my training," he said.


Registration Link Here

More Info Here

Meet Page Here

When Steorts entered the Hurricane cross country program as a freshman last year, he had simple, humble expectations.

Make the varsity squad. Compete at states. Help his team to a podium finish at the West Virginia state meet. 

So when Steorts developed into Hurricane's top runner and finished second only to the now-University of Oregon distance runner Larry Josh Edwards at the 2021 3A state championships, he said he was more than surprised.

"(I didn't expect that), not at all, to be honest," he said. "I expected to be maybe top five on my team. I just excelled, I guess."

From that silver medal moment on, Steorts saw his progression continue on the upward trend. Personal bests of 4:23.93 in the full mile and 9:01.72 for 3,200m that earned sixth and seventh at the RunningLane Track Championships in May helped him cap off his high school outdoor debut on a high note.

The latter, longer mark earned him third all-time in state history in the outdoor event.

Now, he can add the cross country 5k to his list of state top-five marks after his 14:56.40 Dutch Miller win.

* Steorts wins the Louisville XC Classic in September.

Photo Credit: Anna Garcia/MileSplit Kentucky

- - -

This fall alone, Steorts has won seven out of nine meets contested, and finished second only to MileSplit50 No. 6 Rocky Hansen at the adidas XC Challenge in September. Most recently, he upgraded his state silver from last year to gold, taking the Class 3A individual title on Oct. 29 in 15:27.14 for 5k.

Reminder: Steorts is only a sophomore.

And he's already made a place for himself in West Virginia distance running.

That, too, comes with its own unique experiences and notoriety. West Virginia has risen to national recognition just in the past few years alone for producing notable names like Edwards, current U.S. girls 5k leader Irene Riggs and others who have found spots on national leaderboards in recent seasons.

It's a tight-knit community Steorts has found camaraderie in as he hopes to continue representing the state well for seasons and years to come, just like those before him.

"We all (in West Virginia) talk to each other a good bit," he said. "Even after states, (some of us) did a cool down together and we were talking the whole time and having fun."

His first crucial moment to continue putting West Virginia on the map could very likely be at RunningLane on Dec. 3, and has some big goals in mind.

Crossing the John Hunt Park finish line in the ballpark of 14:30 would be ideal, Steorts said. But more than the time, he's most excited to race with the slew of nationally-recognized talents in the field. To him, that's what cross country is truly all about -- battling with the competition.

"I always think races are the most fun part," he said. "Just the competitive standpoints and going out and performing well."

And if Steorts hits that 14:30 time goal, he would move into the top position on the state all-time leaderboards, surpassing the state cross country 5k record of 14:53.6 set 40 years ago by Steve Taylor in 1982.

When it boils down to it, though, Steorts doesn't have those records on the forefront of his mind. He's more focused on the progression -- seeing the faster times, ramping up his training, leading Hurricane to top team finishes. 

But now that Steorts actually knows what the records are -- and how his 14:56.4 compares -- he may not be as surprised to see a sub-15-minute time blinking on the clock as he breaks the finish line in Huntsville. 

"That would be super cool to pull a little bragging right," he said.

Related Links: