By Thomas Scavetta
Tyler McGarvey, a junior biology major and music minor from Babylon, N.Y., is a cross country runner and indoor track and eld runner. McGarvey is an experienced runner who was a three-time county cross country champion while attending Babylon High School. He also helped the Pioneers earn a third-place finish at this year’s East Coast Conference Championship.
Q: Can you explain to us the difference between track and cross country?
A: Cross country is a set course that can range from either eight kilometers or ten kilometers, which is typically on a trail outside. Track can be indoors and outdoors, but it’s only on a track. Indoor track is 200 meters while outdoors is 400 meters and it usually includes field events.
Q: What inspired you to start running?
A: It’s a funny story. In grade school, there was this small competition called, ‘Turkey Trot,’ and people encouraged me to run in it and I won. In seventh grade, I went to try out for soccer and I found out that cross country was actually a sport, so my friends told me I should do that. Once I started doing cross country, I’ve been running ever since.
Q: What is the strongest asset of your running?
A: Definitely my endurance. I mean you need both speed and endurance, but being able to go on for miles is my specialty.
Q: Have you ever considered running any marathons?
A: That’s the first thing I’m going to do when I finish college, is to start training for a half-marathon. Then I want to eventually prepare for a marathon and hopefully a triathlon.
Q: What is your biggest aspiration as an athlete?
A: My biggest goal as a runner would be to finish a marathon in under three hours, but in general I want to do an ‘ironman,’ which is like swimming, running and biking.
Q: How does your experience as an upperclassman brush off on the younger guys?
A: Well the biggest difference between high school and college is the upper mileage, so the freshman are usually terrified when they first come and find out that they have to run 10-12 miles a day. I came from a really small high school, so my change was really drastic compared to kids from most schools.
Q: Have you always wanted to run track or were you interested in playing any other sports?
A: It was really hard me to distinguish which sport I wanted to pursue because I played basketball, baseball and soccer. I really wanted to be a college baseball player, but I was just better at track.
Q: What ultimately influenced your decision to choose LIU Post?
A: The track and cross country program was a huge part of it because I got offered a scholarship and met the team before and they were all a great group of guys. I figured it would be fun to be a part of that.
Q: Can you tell us what your day is like as a student-athlete?
A: I wake up at 7:30 a.m. for a morning run, which is about two miles just to get the lactic acid out. Then, I’m in class from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During common hour, I’ll go to the gym to lift and do core. After that, I have class again from 2:00-3:20 p.m. which leads up to practice at 3:30 p.m. Then we’ll run for an hour or two and do some more core [workouts]. The team gets dinner once practice is over and around 7:30 p.m. is when I start my homework. Once that’s finished, I’ll go to bed and then start all over again.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment to date as an athlete?
A: I started out sixth on our team and there [are] only six guys on the team. At the end of the season, I moved up to third, which was with a stress fracture, so that was really important.
Q: Name something interesting that people might not know about you.
A: I’m a vegetarian and I’ve been one for eight years.
Q: Any plans at the moment after graduating college?
A: After graduating I plan to go to medical school and hopefully become an emergency room surgeon and I’d also like to continue running.
Q: Who is the one person you admire most?
A: That would probably be my teammate, Ryan Gioe. He’s the one that keeps pushing me and he’s always been there for me. It’s really great to have him around and he still has a great spirit, despite all that he’s been through.