Dover High product joining RedStorm

Matt Engstrom, front left, is joined by teammate
Blake Freed and RedStorm coaches after signing to
run at Rio Grande.

DOVER, Ohio - University of Rio Grande cross  country/track & field head coach Bob Willey has announced the addition of Matt Engstrom to the RedStorm rosters for the 2013-14 school year.

The 5-foot-10, 145-pound Engstrom comes to Rio Grande after transferring from Seton Hill College.

During his high school career at Dover High School, Engstrom was a teammate of Rio Grande sophomore-to-be Kyle Sanborn.

"Matt saw how successful Kyle was here as a freshman - Kyle had better times than Matt last year, although Matt ran in front of Kyle during high school - and I think that helped make his decision a little easier," Willey said. "His college experience will help us immediately, particularly in cross country."

The highlight of Engstrom's freshman season for the Griffins came in cross country at the SHU Griffin Classic last September when he completed the 8K course in a time of 30:25.09, good enough for a 15th place finish.

During his high school career, Engstrom earned All-East District and All-East Central Ohio League honors, while also being named an East District All-Star.

"From the first time I put on a pair of running shoes, I knew that running in college is what I wanted to do," he said. "I'm very excited to be coming to Rio Grande and I'm ready to make an impact here."

Engstrom competed in the 800-, 1600-, 3200- and 5000-meter runs, as well as the 2,000-meter steeplechase during his prep career.

Engstrom established personal record times of 4:50.67 in 1600 and 10:11.50 in the 3200 during the spring of his senior season at Dover after notching a PR of 2:17.62 in the 800 in February of the same year.

"Matt's a versatile young man. He can run anything from - in addition to cross - the mile, the 10,000 and I think he's got a school record in the steeplechase," Willey said. "He was an outstanding high school runner. We're excited to have him here."

Engstrom, who will major in Business Management, admitted that the opportunity to continue running with friends was a big selling point in his decision to make the move to Rio.

"My ultimate goal is to run in the nationals," he said. "I think I'll bring some excitement to the program. I just need to make sure I don't overtrain."

Engstrom is the son of Debra and Bob Copple and Tim Engstrom of Dover.