Butler star Drew Griffith closes high school career with New Balance national title in mile

John Enrietto Eagle Sports Editor

June 22, 2024 Last Updated: June 21, 2024 09:10 PM Sports


Butler graduate Drew Griffith breaks the tape in winning the high school one-mile race at the New B;alance Nationals last weekend at the University of Pennsylvania. Submitted Photo

BUTLER TWP — At last, Drew Griffith’s high school running career is over.


The Butler senior’s ending could be consider storybook — or, in his words, almost perfect.

Griffith competed June 12 in a national high school two-mile race in Seattle, Wash. He not only won that race, but completed the course in 8 minutes, 31.46 seconds. That time was the second fastest two-mile ever turned in by a high school athlete.

Lukas Verzbicas — born in Lithuania and competing for a high school in Illinois — ran an 8:29.46 in 2011.

Three days later, Griffith was at the University of Pennsylvania, competing in the New Balance Nationals. He won the mile race there in 3 minutes, 59 seconds.

“I wasn’t feeling 100% during that race,” Griffith admitted. “I was still feeling the affects of traveling back across the country. My legs were a little tired, but I had enough to win.”

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The New Balance Nationals marked Griffith’s final competition as a high school runner.


“From start to finish, fall through spring, Drew probably put together the best high school season a distance runner has ever had in the United States,” Butler boys track coach Mike Seybert said.

“People never stop to think about the effects a flight across the country can have on the human body, the air compression for that long of a time, the three-hour time change. ... It takes a while to adapt to those things. Drew had little to time to adapt and still won.”

Griffith also joined Golden Tornado teammates Owen Dressler, Landon Lacey and Zachary Slear in winning the distance medley relay at the New Balance Nationals. Griffith ran the anchor leg of that race. The quartet ran the race in 10:00.12.

Dressler is headed to Robert Morris, Lacey to Duquesne to continue their running and academic careers. Slear will be a senior at Butler in the fall.

“Being able to run that race with my high school teammates was a perfect way to end the season,” Griffith said. “I enjoyed running those relays. It’s a credit to our coaches and our program that we have so many talented runners.


Butler’s winning distance medley relay team, from left, Drew Griffith, Zachary Slear, Landon Lacey and Owen Dressler, along with distance coach Rick Davanzati, share a moment after winning the event at the New Balance Nationals. Submitted Photo

“Being able to watch the great runners as an underclassmen, then running alongside so many talented guys at Butler was a true privilege.”

Seybert simply described Griffith as “a special kid.”

“Being able to win national two-mile race, then a national mile race at opposite ends of the country, days apart ... people don’t realize how tough that is,” the coach said. “So few runners an pull off something like that. Yet Drew is always so humble and polite, put the team and the relays first all of the time. That’s a special thing.”

Griffith said his favorite races in high school were finished second in the state meet as a sophomore “because that developed my love for the sport,” and winning the national cross country race in San Diego his senior year.

He expects to concentrate on running the 5,000 meters in track at Notre Dame.

“No, I’m definitely human,” Griffith said when jokingly asked if he was a robot, due to his long string of victories. “But sometimes I like to have the mid-set of a robot. So much of running is mental. You have to convince yourself that nothing can beat you.”