Truman’s Justin Brown let nothing stand in his way of winning the boys 1,600-meter run at Friday’s Ron Ives Invitational.

Truman’s Justin Brown let nothing stand in his way of winning the boys 1,600-meter run at Friday’s Ron Ives Invitational.


At the start of the last lap of the race at Liberty High School, a spectator “stepped out on the track, turned, looked at me and didn’t move,” Brown said. After yelling for the person to move and pushing the stationary fellow out of the way, Brown went on to finish in 4 minutes, 29.1 seconds, 1 second ahead of second-place finisher Zach Herriott of Rockhurst.

“That actually kind of made me angry,” Brown said. “I run faster when I’m angry.”   

Patriots coach Craig Lewis praised Brown for “being competitive, running a smart race” and “never getting trapped.”

“(He) just showed a lot of heart today,” Lewis said.

Brown was among a group of area boys champions. Others included Deiondre Hall, who jumped 45 feet, 2 1/2 inches to win the triple jump and help Blue Springs win the boys meet with 111 points. Still others included Brown’s teammate Roy Bay, who won the 100 and 200 dashes; and Blue Springs South’s Ben Harvel, who won the long jump and 300 hurdles, then anchored South’s winning 1,600 relay team.

Harvel was confident he would have enough energy to run the relay, the day’s final running event.

“I had ample time to rest (after the 300 hurdles),” he said. “And I felt like we would be ready – with (the) people we had out here in this relay – to compete.”

In addition, William Chrisman’s Jordan Warner cleared 6-6 on his second attempt to edge Liberty’s Jared Benson in the high jump.  

“I had enough energy to plant hard and get over the bar,” said Warner, who also attempted 6-9 Friday.
Chrisman coach Keith Peterson praised Warner for jumping well under challenging conditions.

“This is a tough place to jump,” Peterson said. “It’s a hard surface. And (in our) first meet outdoors, (for him to clear) 6-6, I am ecstatic about it.”

Area girls champions included Gabby Hall, who won the 200 and 400 to help the Blue Springs girls team place second with 104 points, 8.5 points behind Lee’s Summit North (112.5). In addition, Blue Springs South’s Samantha Nightingale won the 1,600 in 5:11.

Blue Springs South (24) was eighth, William Chrisman (21.5) ninth and Truman (21) 10th.

Truman junior Alisha Meyer narrowly missed winning the 300 hurdles. Meyer, who had started running the 100 and 300 hurdles less than a week before the meet, placed second in 47.82, 1.57 seconds behind North Kansas City’s Kyaunna Robinson.

“I was kind of tired over here (by the finish line) at the end, but I had fun,” Meyer said.