2023 Students of Distinction

Tyler Campbell is always on the run

Posted on May 12th, 2023 By:

Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles of each of the Students of Distinction being honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. The students will be honored during a banquet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.

Student: Tyler Campbell

School: Gig Harbor High School

Category: Athletic Achievement

Tyler Campbell started running cross country and track in middle school in Vancouver, Washington. When his family moved to Gig Harbor in his freshman year, he immediately hooked up with the Tides team.

In 2021 his Tides team won the 3A District cross country title and Tyler took eighth place as an individual. He also helped the team take second place in the state cross country meet.

In 2022 the Tides team placed fourth in State, even though Tyler missed medaling due to illness.

That same year he placed 10th in individuals in 3A District while the team took third place.

Time with teammates

When he hasn’t been running with his team, Tyler has participated in the Gig Harbor Turkey Trot, the Port Orchard Hot Foot 5k, the Galloping Gertie Half Marathon and Steilacoom Four Foot race.

He has also done well in track and field events including the 1,600-meter relay and the 3,200 meters. In 2022, he placed fourth at the South Sound Conference championships, helping the Tides win the title. He also placed second in the 2022 5,000m race at the Bill Roe All Comer meet in Shoreline.

Tyler Campbell

It goes without saying that running and spending time with his teammates has been his favorite thing in high school. “I really enjoy traveling with them, going to Boise and Eugene and other places. Just being with my team mates,” he said.

Balancing time

It’s also been something of a challenge to balance running with school work, especially this year when he has taken some tough classes. But at the same time, figuring out time management – how to balance track and academics “has been something I’m pretty proud of,” he said.

He’s also proud of the general knowledge he has gained about training and distance running. “I’ve really enjoyed learning about the importance of training – understanding what to do and why.”

That interest led to Tyler’s decision to attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs this fall where he plans to study for a career in mechanical engineering with a focus on biomechanics to help athletes train and recover.

The fact that the UCCS campus is next door to the U.S. Olympics training center is also appealing, he said. He plans to join the school’s cross country team and work toward his long range goal of qualifying for the U.S. Olympics team as a marathoner.

In a letter of recommendation, Col. Karst Brandsma, a long-time family friend, wrote that Tyler “is a truly intelligent individual who enjoys challenging himself with new ideas. His passion to better himself and those around him is evident in everything he does. He is a highly disciplined, intellectually curious and thoughtful young man. He has parlayed his athletic excellence to the benefit of his entire community, using his love of sport to raise money for local food banks, and awareness for community events such as the Race for a Soldier.”

Tyler’s advice to younger kids for high school success: “Find your passion and work on that. You’ll find other classmates who share the same interests and you’ll make good friends.”

Tyler Campbell

Parents: Claire and Travis Campbell

GPA: 3.87

Achievements/Activities: AP U.S. History, Physics, Psychology and Economics; earned three letters in cross country and one in track and field; placed in numerous cross country and track and field meets; helped his team win numerous championships

Favorite teacher: Mr. Yelsky, AP Physics 1. “In his class I learned about the basics of Newtonian physics. I got to know my peers in this class better than in any of my other classes because we were always debating the best ways to go about solving problems and working together to do labs, which deepened our understanding of the principles we were learning about. It was a difficult class, but this made learning much more rewarding and interesting. Mr. Yelsky explained complicated concepts well and made learning fun.”

Best thing about GHHS: “The tradition of excellence in its track and cross country programs which is continued by our talented and supportive athletes who are fun to joke around and train with every day as well as our coaches, Kevin Eager and Patty Ley (former Olympic trialist and head women’s coach at Gonzaga) who push us to be our best and are great at inspiring us as athletes and as people.”