Robbie Creese, 2011, Glenelg
by Derek Toney
For those who know him well, Robby Creese is mild-mannered. Until he steps on the track.
Creese, VSN’s co-No. 1 Boys Track and Field Middle Distance Performer of the Decade (2010-2019) was a force of nature at Glenelg High. He won 11 indoor and outdoor state individual track titles.
Many of his championships were in distance, but Creese was dominant in the 800, winning indoor crowns in Class 2A in 2011 and 2009, and the 2A outdoor title in 2010. He won the Howard County 800 outdoor crown as a senior in 2011.
Not bad considering Creese was a soccer player when he arrived at Glenelg as a freshman in 2007. After his sophomore soccer season, his classmates persuaded him to do indoor track to stay in shape.
Gladiators longtime track coach Philip Johnson saw Creese’s tremendous upside.
“The first indoor season we spent a lot of time building miles and base,” Johnson said. “It was obvious, even though he didn’t know what he was doing, he was very talented.”
Creese had his first state title (state 1A outdoor 1,600) by the conclusion of his sophomore season. He won the 2A state indoor 800 in the winter of 2010 and followed in the spring with titles in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the 2A outdoor state meet at Morgan State University.
Throw in back-to-back 2A state cross country crowns in 2010 and 2009 and Creese has an astounding 13 individual state running championships. He matriculated to Penn State University.
“I definitely wanted a good engineering program and a good [running] program too,” said Creese.
Creese was the Big 10 Freshman of the Year, helping the Nittany Lions to the distance medley relay title. He won the Big 10 indoor mile and distance medley relay championship.
Creese ranks first in school history in the indoor mile (3:57.11) and 3000 (7:50.36) and is part of the record-setting distance medley relay (9:26.59). He was earned first-team All-America honors in 2013 (outdoor) and 2015 (indoor).
Penn State track and cross country coach John Gondak, who recruited Creese, said Creese’s success was attributed to his work ethic and relationship with teammates.
“Everybody has the talent that they are born with,” Gondak said. “What has helped him bring it out is being with a group of guys that helped him become better.”
Creese, who earned a Bachelor’s in Math and Economics from Penn State, works as a graduate teaching assistant at the school and is a volunteer coach for the Nittany Lions track and cross country program.
Editor’s note: High school statistics and records according to Athletic.net