By Rob Kiser
It was “Showtime” at the Miami County Invitational boys track and field meet Tuesday at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
And Piqua High School junior Devon Brown did not disappoint.
Brown turned in a perfect performance, winning the 100 (11.47), 200 (22.72), long jump (18-6 3-4) and anchoring the 800 relay (with Jacob Bushnell, Coeby Patton and Caleb Patton) to victory in 1:36.32.
“It feels good,” Brown said after finishing his perfect night with a win in the 200. “I needed to show people what I can do.”
He edged Troy’s Josh Browder in both the 100 (second) and 200 (third) and Troy’s Jayden Culp Bishop in the 200 (second) — runners he had finished behind several times earlier this year.
“I just had to show what I could do,” Brown said. “Both times are PRs. When I crossed the finish line, I couldn’t tell. But, I knew I had run my best race.”
Piqua coach Scott Kaye had a simple explanation for Brown’s performance.
“He is just now getting to where he has times where he gets put (in the fast heat),” Kaye said. “Where he can run next to these these guys and win races.”
Brown, running track for the first time since moving here from New York as a freshman, said it is a learning experience every day.
“I ran one year in junior high,” he said. “Definitely, I am still learning things. Everything is starting to come together.”
“He ran one year — and that was junior high,” he said. “So, it is not even the same thing. He is starting to understand what he needs to do. He is showing that in the sprints and he has become a very consistent long jumper.”
Kaye said the winning relay team is coming along as well.
“They are not where they need to be yet,” Kaye said. “There is still some work on handoffs and things like that to do. But, they are coming along nicely.”
Brown said it is just the beginning.
“It does give me confidence (for the rest of the season),” he said. “I just needed to go out and show what I could do and it feels good.”
It was a big night for Miami East boys, winning with 139 points.
They were followed by Troy 128, Milton-Union 100.5, Tippecanoe 93, Covington 80, Piqua 77, Bradford 19.5, Bethel 13, Troy Christian 6 and Newton 6.
As has been the case all year, it was depth and tremendous team effort for East.
The Vikings lone win came from the 3,200 relay (Gavin Horne, Bryce Redick, Erik Austerman, Greg Austerman) in 8:32.15.
Finishing second were Taton Bertch, 110 hurdles, 17.96; Redick, 800, 2:07.31; Blaine Brokschmidt, pole vault, 13-0; the 400 relay (Daniel Baker, Justin Brown, Dalton Taynor, Colton Weldy), 45.56;
Taking third were Horne, 1,600, 4:49.72; Baker, 400, 53.05; Kaleb Nichols, pole vault, 11-6; the 800 relay Baker, Bertch, Brown, Weldy), 1:37.85; and the 1,600 relay (Greg Austerman, Bertch, Brokschmidt, Redick), 3;36.69.
Covington was led by wins from Cade Harshbarger, 300 hurdles, 40.23; Zach Parrett, high jump, 6-0; Jett Murphy, pole vault, 13-6 and the 1,600 relay (Zane Barnes, Gray Harshbarger, Jayce Pond, Nathan Lyle), 3:32.46.
Taking second wasBarnes, 400, 52.89; while finishing third was the 400 relay (Alex Shaffer, Ethan Herron, Murphy, Cade Harshbarger), 45.73.
Piqua also got a strong performance from thrower Tristen Cox.
He finished second in both the shot put, 48-6 3-4; and discus, 139-7.