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Body of work separates Glenelg's Creese from the pack

Penn RelaysPhiladelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)Human Interest

For all that he's accomplished — the record times, the double-digit state titles — it's easy to forget sometimes that Glenelg's Robby Creese is still human.

He gets sick, battles injuries and tires just like everyone else.

Yet, as he proved this spring during an outdoor season where he wasn't always at his best, Creese still found a way to remain in a class all his own.

"You'd have a hard time finding a more aggressive schedule than the one we set up for him, from the indoor to the outdoor seasons. There were very few breaks," Glenelg coach Phil Johnson said. "By the end of outdoor, you could see it, he looked a bit tired.

"Still, though, Robby accomplished a lot."

Creese's postseason included sweeps of the 800- and 3,200-meter runs at the county championships and titles in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the 2A South regional, before settling for a first (3,200) and two second-place finishes at states. And although Creese himself was a little disappointed with his final state high school meet, his overall body of work has earned him his second straight Columbia Flier/Howard County Times boys outdoor track athlete of the year.

"It's been a pretty successful season, some disappointing times, but overall pretty good," said Creese, who will attend Penn State in the fall. "I changed my focus this year, so my training schedule was more based off some of the bigger races. Peaking at Nationals has been my focus."

The 2011 New Balance Nationals are Saturday, June 18 at North Carolina A&T University, in Greensboro, N.C., and Creese will be trying to improve on his seventh-place finish in the mile as a junior.

Already this spring, Creese has posted several solid times in the mile and 1,600 on big stages. At the Penn Relays, in Philadelphia, he posted a time of 4:15 and then in May, a couple days after the county championship meet, he set a personal record with a time of 4:12 in the 1,600 at the Loucks Games in New York.

Creese points to that race in New York as arguably his best of the season in any distance.

"I definitely felt like I was ready to get a good time like that, especially after coming pretty close to that a few weeks earlier (at the Penn Relays)," he said. "I didn't end up winning, I got outkicked at the end, but I ran well."

As for the high school races, Creese earned an impressive victory at the Viking Invitational in April. In that 1,600-meter race, he beat some of the areas best with a time of 4:25.47.

At the county championship meet, he only ran the 3,200 and 800 to rest himself for the Loucks Games. He won both races, capturing the 3,200 in 9:40.59 and the 800 in 1:57.16.

The next week at the regional meet, his times were a little slower, but Creese found the winner's circle in the 3,200 (9:54.06), the 1,600 (4:31.94) and the 800 (1:59.29).

That set Creese up for a chance to win three events at the state meet for the second consecutive year. He started with a win in the 3,200 in a time of 9:34.49, but couldn't grab gold in the 1,600 or 800.

In the 1,600 (4:23.67) he lost out to Winter's Mill's Ryan Spangler by seven seconds and then in the 800, he fell two seconds short of North Carroll's Kody Wilson, finishing in 1:56.51. Despite losing, Creese posted his fastest times of the postseason in both races.

"(Me losing) may have been surprising to some people, but they both ran really well," Creese said. "It was their day to win."

Creese finishes his career with an impressive 13 state titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.

"As tremendous of a runner as he is, Robby is an even better kid," Johnson said. "He's quiet, but he's smart and a wonderful teammate. I've truly enjoyed coaching and getting to know him these last couple years. I expect tremendous things from him at Penn State."

All-county first team

Named to the all-county first team are:

Matt Brown, Long Reach

Events: 100- and 200-meter dashes

Postseason highlights: First in the 100 (11.17 seconds) and 200 (22.18) at the county championship meet. Second in the 100 (10.83) and 200 (21.94) at the Class 2A South regional meet. Placed third in the 100 (11.12) and 200 (22.59) at the 2A state meet.

Josh Campbell, Reservoir

Event: 800-meter run

Postseason highlights: Finished second in the 800 (1:58.55) at the county championships, before winning the 800 (1:57.66) at the 3A East regional meet. Placed second in the 800 (1:57.83) at the 3A state meet.

Jordan Carr, Howard

Events: high jump, long jump and triple jump

Postseason highlights: First in the high jump (6 feet-5 inches) and fourth in the long jump (21-0.75) at the county championship meet. First in the high jump (6-2), fifth in the long jump (20-4.75) and sixth in the triple jump (41-8) at the 3A East regional meet. First in the high jump (6-6) at the 3A state meet.

Tenard Childs, Oakland Mills

Events: 110- and 300-meter hurdles

Postseason highlights: Second in the 110 hurdles (14.93) and 300 hurdles (39.79) at the county championship meet. Placed first in the 110 hurdles (14.90) and second in the 300 hurdles (40.01) at the 2A South regional meet. Finished third in the 110 hurdles (15.14) at the 2A state meet.

Terrance Drew, Oakland Mills

Event: 400-meter dash

Postseason highlight: Finished first and set a meet record in the 400 (48.56) at the county championship meet.

Purcell Freeman, Long Reach

Events: 110- and 300-meter hurdles

Postseason highlights: Fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.18) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (41.59) at the county championships. Took second in the 110 hurdles (15.06) at the 2A South region meet. Won the 110 hurdles (14.76) at the 3A state meet.

Dante Garner, Wilde Lake

Events: triple jump, long jump and high jump

Postseason highlights: Finished first with a meet record in the triple jump (45-5.5), along with second-place finishes in the long jump (21-11) and high jump (6-2), at the county championship meet. Won the triple jump (46-10), while finishing third in the long jump (21-0.5) and fourth in the high jump (5-11) at the 3A East regional. Placed first in the triple jump (46-9), second in the long jump (21-5) and fourth in the high jump (6-2) at the 3A state meet.

Scott Heydrick, River Hill

Events: 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs

Postseason highlights: First in the 1,600 (4:24.91) and second in the 3,200 (9:41.57) at the county championships. Placed first in the 3,200 (9:47.33) and second in the 800 (1:58.32) at the 3A East regional meet. Fourth in the 800 (1:58.23) at the 3A state meet.

Jamie Leroy, Centennial

Events: Shot put and discus

Postseason highlights: First in the shot put (46-9) and discus (136-2) at the county championship meet. Second in the discus (136-2) and fifth in the shot put (41-8.5) at the 3A East regional. Placed second in the discus (134-4) at the 3A state meet.

Kyle Mitchell, Reservoir

Events: 110- and 300-meter hurdles, triple jump

Postseason highlights: Won the 110 hurdles (14.40) and 300 hurdles (39.09), while also taking second in the triple jump (43-10) at the county championships. Won the 110 hurdles (14.26) and the 300 hurdles (40.45), in addition to placing second in the triple jump (43-9.25), at the 3A East regional. Finished third in the 110 hurdles (14.48), fifth in the 300 hurdles (39.80) and sixth in the triple jump (42-8.5) at the 3A state meet.

Tola Morakinyo, Wilde Lake

Events: pole vault

Postseason highlights: Finished first at the county championship meet (12-0) and second at the 3A East regional (12-10) in the pole vault.

Curtis Pumphrey, Atholton

Events: long jump and triple jump

Postseason highlights: Won the long jump (22-0) and finished third in the triple jump (43-6) at the county championship meet. Finished third in the triple jump (43-3) and fourth in the long jump (21-0.5) at the 3A East regional meet. Took third in the triple jump (44-10) and fifth in the long jump (20-7) at the 3A state championships.

Eric Schuler, Reservoir

Events: 800- and 1,600-meter runs

Postseason highlights: Second in the 1,600 (4:26.24) and third in the 800 (2:00.13) at the county championships. Won the 1,600 (4:22.62) and was fifth in the 800 (1:58.94) at the 3A East regional. Finished second in the 1,600 (4:21.74) and third in the 800 (1:57.91) at the 3A state championship meet.

Alywn Sosoo, Reservoir

Events: 100- and 200-meter dashes

Postseason highlights: Won the 100 (11.05) and finished sixth in the 200 (22.66) at the 3A East regional meet. Finished third in the 100 (11.19) at the 3A state meet.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Penn RelaysPhiladelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)Human Interest
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