Photo provided by Bill Craig
Lady Miller high jumper Shelby Tyler makes her way over the bar.
Photo provided by Bill Craig Lady Miller high jumper Shelby Tyler makes her way over the bar.

The sky’s not exactly the limit for Noblesville High School senior high jump sensation Shelby Tyler, but to hear her coach, Bill Craig, talk…well, I’m not too sure about that. 

New heights are surely in her future!

Craig thinks she can pretty much do whatever she puts her mind to doing.

“I’ve never seen a more determined, focused and competitive girl, and not just in the high jump, but in track, period,’’ said Craig, who started working with her in the eighth grade. He has been coaching track for 50 years at various schools.

“Shelby’s going to help me keep my job here,’’ joked Craig, who came from Bloomington and has assisted Millers head track coach Dennis Scheele for six seasons. “Yes, she’s that good. She really brings her best and delivers for the big meets.

Shelby also credits Tod Hermann, the 7-foot-3 high jumper who went to Notre Dame, for helping her when she was in junior high. She also pole vaults 11-6 and is an exceptional sprinter at 400 meters. Her best time is 58.8. 

In other words, she’s a potential scorer in three events.

“I think I should do well in all three events, but the high jump is what I do best and what I want to do best,’’ said Shelby, who will be off to the University of Georgia next year. “Georgia has everything I want . . . just the right fit for me.’’

She said her coach in Georgia said she could also pole vault if she’s clearing 12 feet.

Shelby’s family moved to Noblesville from Chicago when she was in junior high. Her progress in the high jump continued at Noblesville starting in the seventh grade.

“The more I worked in the high jump, the more I enjoyed it. When I reached high school, I found that I still enjoyed it and I realized I could go someplace with it,’’ said Shelby, who maintains a solid 4.4 GPA. 

“My parents, coaches and teammates helped me a great deal, and the program here is great and we’re all a close group. It’s always a team effort. It takes a village.’’

Obviously, such support has played a major role in helping her receive another honor, too.

Shelby is nominated as a Spring Sports Athlete to Watch at the IndyStar Sports Awards banquet for outstanding achievements. This year’s IndyStar Sports Awards will take place May 5, 2019 at Clowes Memorial Hall. 

Shelby also does missionary work at Grace Church on 146th street. It’s a church dedicated to healing the broken places of the world and helping people find their calling to heal those broken places.

“I love doing missionary work, and I love my church. I’m very involved in it, and it’s very important to me,’’ said Shelby. “I’m an intern in the missionary program there and I also serve in the kids’ rooms on weekends.’’

Success is not exactly new to Shelby. 

She improved from 5-10 in 2017 to 5-11 in 2018 to win IHSAA State meets in the high jump. 

She also won her specialty event in the under-20 girls USA Nationals in Bloomington (Ind.) in June 2018, and then won the New Balance Nationals the next day in Greensboro, S.C. Winning those two U.S. titles qualified her for The World competition for U-20 girls. She was fourth in the preliminaries, but she had a minor injury and wound up finishing 11th.

 . . . And she currently ranks No. 2 in the high jump nationally.

She already is record-setter performer in the high jump, as well as a Hoosier State Indoors Relays champion.

She shattered the Hoosier Relays state indoor record, clearing 6 foot, 1/4 inch this past March. The previous meet record stood at 5-10. That record was on the books for an incredible 33 years, dating way back to 1986.

And the current IHSAA State record is 6-feet, set in 1985 by Angela Bradburn of Norwell.

I think you have to like her chances in the Indiana Girls Track and Field state competition on June 1.

Can she do it? Well, she nodded her head and smiled in a confident manner.

“That’s what I think about a lot and what I’m shooting for,’’ said Shelby, extremely bubbly and effervescent when she talks about where she’s been and where she still hopes to go in track and field.

“The high jump is a lot of self-competition. You are competing against the bar, so on my jumps I not worrying about my opponents, I just concentrate on what I’m doing and stay focused on each jump.’’

If successful, Shelby Tyler would be Noblesville’s first 3-time state champion in one sport.

Hopefully another Miller Moment is in the making!

-Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317-460-8018.