Robby Creese

Glenelg's Robby Creese was named the boys outdoor track Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year. (Staff photo by Jen Rynda, Patuxent Publishing / June 9, 2011)

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.


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"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