GTTC Elite Spotlight — Ryan McSpadden

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Ryan working with the guys on another set of hill repetitions. 

Ryan McSpadden is a recent graduate of Dallas Baptist University, where he was a 3-year team captain and 3-time All-Heartland Conference honoree in Cross Country. Ryan made his Greater Texas Track Club debut at the Pittsburg State Crimson and Gold Invitational on December 9th, 2017 in the 3000 meters.

Throughout his tenure at Dallas Baptist University, Ryan was a 4-time NCCAA All-American in the Mile (I), 3000 meters (I), Distance Medley Relay (I), and in the 5000 meters (O). He was also a member of the 2017 men’s cross country team that qualified for the NCAA National Championships and finished 18th overall.

Ryan’s personal best times are as follows:

1500 meters — 4:01
3000 meters — 8:42
5000 meters — 15:17
8000 meters — 25:42
10,000 meters — 32:05

For me, Ryan is one of the more versatile athletes that I have coached at Dallas Baptist University. He was always clutch for us at the NCCAA National Championships, whether that was running a relay leg (DMR) or doubling up in the 5k / 3k to score us much needed points.

However, there are two competitions that really stick out in my mind that define Ryan as a runner. The first was his senior year at the NCCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. For us, this is the equivalent to our Conference Championships and we had never been a top-3 team before. We knew that we’d have to get points any and every way possible to be a top-3 team and that’s where Ryan really stepped up for us.

He first scored in the Men’s 1500 meters with a personal best time of 4:01. The impressive feat is that he did so out of the ‘slow’ heat. He wasn’t ranked in the top-15, but was able to finish in the top-8 and score unexpected points.

Then, not 90 minutes later, he doubled back in the 5000 meters, where again, he was not ranked in the top-8, but was able to finish 2nd overall and score much needed points to help us seal a top-3 team finish.

The other performance came at the 2017 NCAA South Central Regional Cross Country Championships. Our men’s team had never qualified for the NCAA National Championships before and we were a team on the outside looking in. WE WERE GOING TO NEED A GREAT DAY FROM OUR GUYS. Well, Ryan decided to make that race his best ever. He finished 44th overall, only 12 places behind our third man, Trent Phelps, and was only 20 seconds off of his personal best, at altitude. It was a great performance and one that helped us get to the NCAA National Championships for the first time in school history.

I’m excited to see what Ryan can do in his post-collegiate career. He’s methodical and prepares with intent. It’s going to be fun watching him continue to race and grow as a runner in the GTTC singlet.

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Here is Ryan at the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championships Banquet. 

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