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Experience no issue for Grove, High Point

April 13, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

Chambersburg senior Corey Grove has such rare potential that the first cross country race of his life will be at the NCAA Division I level this fall.

"I'm getting a scholarship to run cross country, and I don't know what the heck I'm going to do," Grove said. "But I'm excited about it. Who knows what I'm going to do?"

The coaches at High Point University in North Carolina probably can't wait to find out the answer. Grove signed a letter of intent Wednesday to run cross country and track for the Panthers, who are giving him nearly a full ride.

In a very short amount of time, Grove, who's played soccer every fall, has become the Tri-State's most dominant distance runner. He leads the area this spring in the 800 (1:58.6), 1,600 (4:20.8) and 3,200 (9:34.7). All three of those performances are from dual-meet races, which he won easily. His 9:34.7 in the 3,200 came in his debut at the distance, and he won the race by more than a minute.

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Grove said his goals this spring are to run 1:53 in the 800, 4:15 in the 1,600 and 9:19 in the 3,200. But he doesn't really know what he can do.

"I don't know anything about running," said Grove, who was recruited by several Division I programs for soccer. "I used to just run track to stay in shape for soccer. I never even enjoyed track until this year."

But then he decided to give indoor track a try this past winter, and his 1:54.91 in the 800 attracted some attention.

"Just the fact that he doesn't have a huge background in distance running makes him pretty attractive," Chambersburg coach Chris Monheim said. "His upside is probably a lot greater than most kids because he doesn't have a lot of experience.

"He's just starting to train full-time as a runner for the first time. He'll improve drastically throughout college. There's no doubt in my mind he could be a Division I All-American some day. He has that kind of talent."

"I just had to chose between track and soccer," he said.

Since he made his decision, he hasn't looked back.

"It's hard to hold him back," Monheim said. "We're going to get to the point where we're going to have to pull him off the track to keep him fresh, because he goes hard every time out. He comes to practice every day just champing at the bit."

Tri-State rankings

The Super 7 team rankings will be determined each week this season by scoring the leaderboard like a meet - 10 points for first, eight for second, six for third, four for fourth and two for fifth.

Please e-mail updates, questions and corrections to andrewm@herald-mail.com.

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