Hometown: Fairfield, OH
High School: St. Xavier
At the Flyer 5k Gruenbacher ran 15:46 and was the third Flyer to finish. This was a new 5k personal best. At the National Catholic Invitational he ran 25:54 and was once again the third Flyer. The next test was the All-Ohio Championships. Gruenbacher set a personal best running 25:31 tying for the tenth on the all-time five mile personal best list. At the NCAA Pre-Nationals he ran 25:43 and was the fifth Flyer. Gruenbacher had a big day at the Atlantic 10 Championships when he ran 26:40 and was the second Flyer. At the NCAA Great Lakes Regional he set a new personal best in the 10k running 33:22 finishing fifth for Dayton.
Gruenbacher began his sophomore season with a bang by running out to three consecutive 5th place finishes for the Flyers. He notched a time of 16:04 at the Flyer 5K, 25:59 at the National Catholic Invite 8K, and 26:56 at the All-Ohio 8K. Gruenbacher then proceeded to place 7th, 6th, and 6th in the remaining meets. He had a 5:18.2 mile pace during the season and competed in every varsity race. In addition, he is 23rd all-time on UD’s “Harrier Heroes” award, a Top 35 list of five-mile personal best times by UD runners.
As a freshman, Gruenbacher looked to make an immediate splash in the Flyer cross country tradition. In the first race of the year, he came through, finishing with a time of 15:57 at the Flyer 5K. He wasn't done quite yet, however. In the Mel Brodt Invitational, just one week later, Eric finished in 26:04, leading his team to a first place result.
High School Gruenbacher was a three-time Ohio High School State Championship Cross Country Qualifier and also a three-time Academic All-Ohio Cross Country honoree...He placed sixth at the 2009 Greater Catholic League Championship to earn First Team honors for the second consecutive season... Named Cincinnati St. Xavier MVP in 2008 and 2009...Was named team captain in 2009 when St. Xavier won the District and Regional championships, and finished runner-up at the State Championships...Place fourth as an individual at the Regional in 2009...Named St. Xavier's Most Valuable Distance Runner in 2010...Won GCL First Team honors in track from 2008-2010...He is the Indoor two-mile record holder at St. Xavier and finished fifth at State in the same event...His personal best times are 9:35 in the 3200m in track and 15:53 in the 5000m in cross country.
Personal Son of Ann and Dana Gruenbacher...has an older brother Paul and two younger brothers Mark and John...Born Nov. 11, 1991...Mechanical Engineer major.