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Griffith creates more magic on track

Drew Griffith, left, at Notre Dame 2024
Butler senior breaks national record in two-mile run

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Drew Griffith is at it again.

Already owning a national championship in cross country and barely missing cracking a mile run in less than four minutes this season, the Butler senior broke the United States high school record in the indoor two-mile on Saturday at Notre Dame.

Competing in that event during the Alex Wilson Invitational in the Golden Dome at Notre Dame, Griffith crossed the finish line in 8 minutes, 38.67 seconds. He beat the former U.S. high school record by one second.

“That’s just a ridiculous time,” Butler boys track coach Mike Seybert said. “A time of 9:02 would win the state meet. Drew’s just at a totally different level right now. He’s so calm and confident in everything he does.”

Griffith beat out runner up Ryan Pajak of Ringgold by just under 10 seconds. Both are headed to Notre Dame as distance runners in the fall.

“I felt like I had a shot at that record going into this race,” Griffith said. “I wanted a pacer out there for the first mile so I would know where I was at time-wise.”

The race did feature a pacer, which clocked at 4:22 through the first mile.

“I just took off after that ... and nobody came with me,” Griffith said.

He ran the final mile basically by himself, trying to beat the clock after having already beaten the rest of the field.

“I coud see the time as I was coming down the stretch, so I knew the situation,” Griffith said. “I just ran as hard as I could because it was going to be close. I enjoy running against the clock, but I enjoy good, competitive races, too.”

Butler graduate and Notre Dame runner C.J. Singleton was on hand to view Saturday’s race.

“I wasn’t going to miss that,” Singleton said. “Drew is in another world. Every time he steps on the track, you don’t know what he’s going to accomplish next.

“I don’t know if I’m looking forward to him coming to Notre Dame next year ... He’s going to beat me all the time.”

Singleton pointed out that Griffith’s work ethic and the guidance of Butler distance running coach Rick Davanzati has created “the perfect storm.”

“Coach Davanzati is as good a distance coach as there is in high school,” Singleton said. “He has so much experience and knowledge in that area. Noah Beveridge had a great career at Butler and I followed him up by doing my thing, but Drew has taken this to a whole new level.

“No one is going to touch what he’s done. He’s been incredible.”

Griffith will rejoin Butler’s indoor track and field team — which won the TSTCA boys championship on Saturday without him — at the indoor state championships next weekend. He will run the mile and a leg of the distance medley relay.

“I’m looking forward to getting back with my team,” Griffith said. “The fact they won that meet without me in the mix shows what kind of depth we have. I think we’re going to do more great things.”

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