Erick Grove was a standout track and cross country athlete at Carthage High School. He was born to Rick and Donna Grove in Joplin on February 6, 1972, attended Mark Twain Elementary School and graduated from CHS in 1990. Erick’s accomplishments as a runner at Carthage High are legendary. His outstanding accomplishment was setting the school record of 4:17.18 in the mile (1600 meter run) while placing 4th in the Missouri State High School track and field championships in 1990, a mark that still stands as the school record twenty-four years later.
In 1988, Erick was a member of the CHS 3200 meter relay team which placed 5th in the state, and in 1989, the CHS 3200 meter relay placed 6th in the state with a time of 8:00.62. He also was a member of the 3200 relay that set the CHS school record 7:57, which also still stands.
In addition, he qualified for the state championship cross country meet in 1988, and placed 6th in the state in that meet in 1989. Erick was All State in Track and Field in 1988, 1989, and 1990, All-State in Cross Country in 1989, and also played basketball for the Tigers.
Erick continued his running career at Southwest Missouri State University but he passed away in a work related accident in the summer of 1991.
Perhaps Erick’s true legacy was in his mentoring of young athletes who joined the CHS program by setting the example of dedication and hard work and by encouraging them to do likewise. In his memory, Erick’s Run has been held in Carthage for many years, and the proceeds provide scholarships for Carthage High School athletes to attend college.