By David Troppens
Tyler Buchanan has been the Metro League’s elite male cross country runner in each of the last three seasons.
So it’s not a shock that the three-time Metro League champion is going to contionue his running career at the college level. The question was where the Linden senior was going to do that.
Buchanan made his decision — he’s going to run for the cross country and the indoor track team at Wayne State University, a Division 2 athletic program.
Buchanan said the decision came between Wayne State and Grand Valley State University, another Division 2 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) program.
“The reason I picked Wayne State was not only because I liked the programs they offered but also the team they have,” Buchanan said. “I enjoyed talking to all of the teammates during my visit there. I also know that I would be an immediate contributor to their team. I really liked the fact that they had their own big goals to win regionals and go to nationals.
“I also related to this with Linden because we had always made goals, whether it was to win the Metro title, win the regional title or place well at the state meet. I really liked having these kinds of challenges, and that’s exactly what I want to continue doing at Wayne State.”
The Warriors placed fourth at the GLIAC Championships and placed seventh out of 31 teams at the D2 NCAA Midwest Regional this fall. Another interesting aspect about the Wayne State program is that it already has a strong tri-county flavor to the roster. Linden graduate Tanner Blaney and Fenton graduate Mitchell Chabot are on the squad as well. Buchanan will have to prepare for longer cross country races. The men’s cross country teams generally compete in 8K races to start the year and concludewith 10K events. High school cross country programs run 5K races.
“I’m very excited for the longer distances because I believe that I am a very strong runner and I will perform better because I run well with the longer distances,” Buchanan said. “(Being able to continue his running career at the collegiate level) means a lot to me that I get to continue doing what I love and I’m very excited for it. It also shows my dedication to the sport which means a lot to me because I can now carry on such a huge factor of my life that has impacted me so greatly.”
Buchanan finished first in seven races this fall, including all three Metro League jamborees. He won the final league meet race with a time of 16:17.4. He also won a Division 2 regional championship with a time of 16:14.3, earning a spot at the state meet. While there he placed sixth overall in the D2 race with a time of 15:57.3. He also competed in a recent MITCA Team Michigan Trials, placing second among seniors with a time of 15:43.0.
Last track season Buchanan was the Metro League’s 1,600 run champion (4:30.15). He was a regional runner-up (4:20.01) in the same event and placed fifth at the D2 state meet (4:22.78).
“The Linden cross country and track programs have helped me prepare for the next level with the year-round training by holding non-mandatory practices in the winter and non-mandatory but eventually mandatory pracfices in the summer,” Buchanan said. “This has helped me prepare by showing me what it will take at Wayne State, and getting me to run every day and prepare for what’s next. They have also helped me by putting us in bigger meets like MSU and also putting me in the elite race with very good runners. This will help me prepare to run with much better runners.”