Prep Track: Liddiard blazes new trails for the Spartans
Tyler Liddiard has always been fast, but it wasn't until his sophomore season at Murray High that he realized his legs might be able to really take him places.
"I figured out I might be able to do something with this, go to college with it," said Liddiard, now a senior. "I didn't know it would eventually lead to State."
Last weekend, Liddiard delivered a performance he called the "highlight of my career" and he captured the Class 4A title in the 100 meters.
"I just told myself before the race, 'This is my race. This is my time,' " Liddiard said. "It was one of the greatest feelings, knowing that all the work paid off.
"I'm still not over the fact that I won State. It's one of the coolest things I've ever done. Out of all the medals I've won, the goal of winning State was the one I wanted the most."
It's an achievement that didn't seem likely at the start of the season, considering Liddiard had never run a sub-11 second 100 before this season. He had spent the previous two seasons focused on other events.
Liddiard was a long jumper and 300-meter hurdler for the Spartans as a sophomore, then found his stride in the 400 meters last year. Coach Ashley McSwain said Liddiard didn't run the 100 much because there were other sprinters ahead of him on the Spartan's talented roster.
"We just had faster kids when he was younger," McSwain said. "It wasn't like he was taking a back seat or anything, the other kids were just older and stronger. But the faster he got, the more he was used in the 100.
"He actually started the season where he left off last year. He didn't take a month to get into form. And because of that, he realized he really had a shot."
Liddiard, who placed second in the 400 meters and third in the 200 at State, was also the fastest high schooler in 2012, setting the school record with a time of 10.71 seconds in the Region 7 meet earlier this month.
Lilliard also put his name in the school record book with his time of 48.36 in the 400. The three top-3 finishes were the culmination of months of training and work Liddiard put in after he finished playing receiver for the Spartans' football team.
"It was a lot of hard work," Liddiard said. "It was nice that all those extra practices and all that extra running in the offseason after football, when we came out in the early mornings going for runs, it all paid off."
Liddiard missed being a double state champ by just five hundredths of a second after he was edged by Salem Hills' Blake Adams. The two will team up in the fall to run for Utah Valley University.
"He's a real strong runner," Liddiard said. "I'm excited. We'll have a really good team. I'm almost positive we'll be running together on the 4x400 relay, and we'll run a 3:05, and that'll be faster than BYU's [fastest] time of 3:08 [this year]."
Fleet of foot
Murray senior Tyler Liddiard won the Class 4A title in the 100 meters and ran the fastest 100 this season in the state (10.71 seconds).
A former long jumper and hurdler, Liddiard didn't run a sub-11 second 100 until the first meet this season.
Liddiard finished second in the 400-meter final, missing first place by .05 seconds.