Athlete Spotlight: Tyler Bartz signs with UNI Panthers

Tyler Bartz of Vinton-Shellsburg High School signed to become a UNI Panther. Read below to see how he picked the Panthers, what his college visit was like, and more!

What has been the most memorable experience of your high school track and field career so far?
My most memorable experience was easily my junior year as a whole. Winning our conference meet, district meet, and being the state runner up was something I couldn't even explain. It was just amazing holding up the banners and trophies as a team knowing all our hard work paid off.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or foods to you have to have on meet day? How did those traditions start?
A few pre race rituals that I have are listening too music like most athletes along with praying before I begin to stretch and get ready. These really just started ever since I got involved with FCA and talked about saying a prayer before going out and competing.

How did you make the decision to continue competing after high school?
I really had no intentions to run after high school but as my junior year was coming to an end I started getting more letters and emails and after state I knew it was something that I was willing to work at and become a collegiate runner. I love to run and be in shape so it is now something I will be able to do for four more years.

What led to your decision to become a UNI Panther?
I love the school and when I went on my official visit I loved all the guys and how close they all were and the tight group they were. It is a program that is continuing to get better and they are in the hunt to win the MVC this year so I like the direction the program is going. They also have an amazing coaching staff that you get to know very well and are very friendly.

What majors interest you?
Elementary education or special education are the two majors that interest me. I really enjoy working with little kids and helping them strive to get better at what they are doing.

What was the hardest part about deciding where to go to college?
Trying to find a school that would fit my intended major really well along with the track program the school had. I also wanted the university I was going to attend to be close to home and not the biggest school ever. 

How have your coaches and teammates reacted to your choice to go to UNI?
My coaches and teammates have all been super excited for me. I have gotten so many congratulations from former teammates and competitors and it means a lot when people say these nice things to me. I live in an outstanding community and I am forever grateful to be a Viking. 

You can see Tyler's high school stats on his MileSplit profile here.