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Linn-Mar's McCrary Makes Strides In the Classroom, On The Track

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CEDAR RAPIDS -- Linn-Mar senior Curtis McCrary grew up in a tough environment in Detroit.

"The schools weren't that great," he said. "I didn't get that much schooling. My mom thought it would be a good idea if I was to move down here with my uncle. He's a good role model for me and for his kids."

It was a difficult transition to the Cedar Rapids area, and Curtis struggled finding his identity. But he's turned things around, and has hit the books hard.

"I'm actually going now, so that's a big change," he said. "And I got good grades."

Because of his improvement in the classroom, Curtis became eligible for high school sports for the first time. Even though he had never been to a track meet in his life, he joined the track team.

And at his first meet, he jumped 22 feet in the long jump at a junior varsity competition.

"My coach actually said I almost beat a record," he said. "I was pretty happy about that."

"He brings a little different talent level to our team," Linn-Mar long jump coach Tim Stamp said. "And the guys respect the heck out of him."

Curtis will likely qualify for the Drake relays. But he knows as great as his success is on the track, it's what he does in the classroom that really counts.

"You really don't get that many chances, so I'm going to just take it and do my best."

At 19, this is his first and last chance at high school sports. And he's taking full advantage.

"I want to graduate high school and maybe go to college," he said. "I heard I can get a scholarship for track, so I'm putting all the effort into track now."

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