McCurren to run track at Saint Louis

Griffin McCurren of Helias High School (seated, center) signs a letter of intent to run track at St. Louis University. Also seated are Susan and Terry McCurren. Standing (from left) are Helias assistant coach Leslie Verslues, Helias head coach Chip Malmstrom, and Helias assistant coaches Tom Emmel, Margaret Shimkus and Mark Ordway.

Griffin McCurren of Helias High School (seated, center) signs a letter of intent to run track at St. Louis University. Also seated are Susan and Terry McCurren. Standing (from left) are Helias assistant coach Leslie Verslues, Helias head coach Chip Malmstrom, and Helias assistant coaches Tom Emmel, Margaret Shimkus and Mark Ordway. Photo by Julie Smith.

It is the ideal combination of athletics and academics for Griff McCurren.

McCurren, a Helias High School senior, said it was an easy decision to sign a letter of intent for track and field with Saint Louis University.

“I really want to get into aviation and get a Catholic education and SLU offered both,” McCurren said at a ceremony Friday. “And when you add in the fact it is Division I and I want to compete at the highest level, it was easy.”

Saint Louis, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, offers a degree in flight science.

“I’ve always been interested in flying,” McCurren said. “I used to take flight lessons and it’s something I’m always thinking about.”

As a junior, McCurren was flying down the track for the Crusaders. He broke a 50-year school record in the 400-meter dash and finished with the fourth-fastest time at the state championships (48.94).

Former Helias head track and field head coach Tom Emmel was surprised with McCurren’s rapid improvement last season.

“I knew he could run in the low 50s,” he said. “But when he got a sub-50 at districts and made it look easy, that got the attention of a lot of people.”

Emmel said McCurren has something most runners just aspire to have.

“There are athletes that are running fast, but then hit another gear to go faster,” he said. “Griff is one of those athletes. He is just so strong the last 20-25 meters.

“Griff is the type of athlete who is going to score points for Saint Louis and it’s a great fit for him.”

McCurren filled out a questionnaire for Saint Louis midway through his junior season.

“They saw my accomplishments, got back to me and it went on from there,” McCurren said.

McCurren, who also played soccer and one year of football for the Crusaders, believes he can do better in his upcoming senior season at Helias.

“The goal is to win state,” McCurren said. “The big goal is to be the No. 1 400 runner in the state. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but you’ve got to aim high to get there.”

McCurren is the first Helias track and field athlete to sign an NCAA Division I letter of intent since Liz Young signed with Missouri in 2001.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - comments