John Curtis freshman Corey Wren on fast starts, big finishes and the best gumbo in Louisiana

Who exactly is Corey Wren? The Louisiana freshman isn't a household name in track and field circles just yet, but don't be surprised when that time eventually does come. A year ago, Wren won a Louisiana High School Athletic Association title in the 60m dash in 6.92 seconds as an eighth grader. He also helped River Ridge John Curtis earn two more titles in the 4x200 relay and 4x400 relays. But most may be aware that Wren, who is still growing at 5-foot-10 and 160-pounds, earned a football scholarship from Tulane University before he even stepped foot in a high school. This indoor season, expect Wren to make waves in the 60m, 200m and relays across Louisiana …but also don't be surprised when he makes a leap onto the national radar.

Cory Mull: For starters, nice name. Your parents got it right. I'm totally on board with being a Cory.

Corey Wren: Lol! Thank you.

Cory Mull: OK, so you had a fantastic indoor season last year, with one individual state title and two relays. What does your encore freshman season look like? Are you satisfied with anything less than three state titles again?

Corey Wren: I'm never satisfied. I always try to remain humble and I would like to win another state title with my teammates.

Cory Mull: It's easy to get overwhelmed by expectations. That Tulane offer probably put a lot of eyes on you, but you also become a target for opponents when you step on the track, too. You're the "it" guy everyone wants to beat. How do you stay grounded with all of that around you?

Corey Wren: Just staying focused on what I have to do. My coaches always tell me to stay focused on my race and not to worry about what's going on around me.

Cory Mull: At the USATF Indoor Hoover Alumni Invitational on Dec. 30 in Alabama, you won the 60m dash in a loaded field that included Dekalb Lakeside (Ga.) sophomore Brian Herron -- who was just featured on MileSplit -- and Marietta Wheeler (Ga.) junior JaVaughn Moore. Both are a year older than you. How did that feel?

Corey Wren: It feels great to compete with guys that are older than me. They all are great runners and I was just happy to come out with the win in my 60m dash.

Cory Mull: Then you lost to Herron and Sparkman (Al.) sophomore Charles Lewis in the 200. How would you compare the races?

Corey Wren: They are very good runners. I enjoyed competing against other runners in my class and I was just happy to break 22 seconds this early in the season.

Cory Mull: When and where is your next race? What events will you compete in?

Corey Wren: My next race will be at the Carl Lewis Invitational in Houston on Jan. 14. I will be competing in the 60m, 200m, 4x200 and also the 4x400.

Cory Mull: What opponents do you get the most out of competing against? What was it like to race Brian Herron? Are there are any other athletes you can't wait to race? Miami Gardens American (Fl.) sophomore Tyreese Cooper?

Corey Wren: Yes, I enjoy running against some of the top runners in my class. I never put anything against anyone. Anyone can be beaten on any given day. It just takes the right person to step up for the challenge.

Cory Mull: What are your biggest goals this indoor track season? How do you feel like it will springboard you into the spring?

Corey Wren: My top goal this season is to win a state title with my team again. I'm looking forward to a PR from my time last year in the 60.

Cory Mull: Who's your coach, and what are your broad goals in your freshman season? Are their milestones you want to hit? Are they public or private?

Corey Wren: Eric Smith is my coach, he has has been for the past four years. But my freshman goals are to run 6.77 in the 60m and run 21.5 indoor for the 200. Outdoor I would like to go 10.4 seconds in the 100m and 20.9 in the 200.

Cory Mull: Fair question here, because you obviously have football talent. Which way are you leaning? Where's the love? Is track and field your first love, or does it not compare to football? How close is the gap between the two?

Corey Wren: My first love is football but both sports go hand in hand in my opinion. I love track and field and always will but I love to show my speed on the football field. Hopefully, I will be able to go to college for both sports.


Can you describe a typical week of training?

Monday: Our hardest day. We focus mostly on long distance and on strength.

Tuesday: Conditioning. We do more speed work but at a longer distance.

Wednesday: We focus here on speed and technical movements.

Thursday: Shake out day, mostly for recovery workouts.

Friday: We use it for stretching and making sure we are ready to compete on Saturday.

Saturday: (RACE DAY)

Sunday: We rest and get ready for another week.

Digging Deep

Cory Mull: What's your biggest weakness and why?

Corey Wren: My biggest weakness is being able to hold my top speed until the end of the race -- like in the 200. Toward the end, I start to lose my form a little but as I grow and continue to work I will get stronger.

Cory Mull: How do your biggest strengths help make up for it?

Corey Wren: My start is the best part of my race. If I have a great start I know that it will be a good race.

Cory MullWhat's your favorite event?

Corey Wren: My favorite event is the 100m dash.

Quick hits…

Professional athlete you look up to the most: My favorite athlete is Trayvon Bromell. I look up to him because he isn't the biggest nor the tallest, but he holds his ground when it comes time to compete and I feel I do the same.

Where's the best gumbo in Louisiana: The only gumbo I will ever eat is my grandma's. It doesn't get any better than that.

Favorite college: Texas A & M.

Favorite meal to eat the day before track meets: Anything that will give me energy before a meet. I prefer any type of fruit with oatmeal.

Website you spend the most time on: MileSplit.

In four years, where do you want your track career to be: In four years I see myself competing on a college level.

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MileSplit Profile: Corey Wren

MileSplit National leaders: 60m, Wren - US #19

Louisiana MileSplit leaders: 60m, Wren - LA #1

MileSplit National leaders: 200m, Wren - US #15

Louisiana MileSplit leaders: 200m, Wren - LA #2