PHS senior Ryan Brown signs letter of intent to run for Ashland University


PIQUA — If you had asked Piqua High School senior Ryan Brown in his younger years, he would have probably told you his dream was to play college football.

But, once he got on a track, the son of Paul and Elaine Brown’s plans changed.

Brown made it official Thursday in the Piqua High School commons, signing a letter of intent to run for Ashland University next year.

“I started out playing football,” Brown said. “I think eighth grade was maybe the first time I ran track and I really liked it.”

And while that may well be the case, the same can’t be said for the 400-meter dash — Brown’s best race.

“It is funny,” he said. “When I first started running, I hated the 400-meter dash. Now, I have grown to love the race.”

And be among the top runners in the state at it.

A year ago, Brown missed advancing to the state by one spot — finishing fifth at the D-I regional meet at Wayne.

Which has led to much bigger expectations for his senior year after winning the MVL in record time of 51.53 a year ago and running a PR of 50.03.

“The last sprinter from Piqua to get on the podium at state was Brandon Saine (2006),” Brown said. “So, the goal is to get to state and get on the podium. I definitely want to have a big senior year and help the team have a really good year.”

Piqua boys track and field coach Travis Nees feels like that is a good goal for Brown to have.

“He only missed state by one spot last year,” Nees said. “So, I think that (getting on the podium) is a good goal for Ryan to have to shoot for.”

Brown has been a part of success at Piqua in both football and track and field.

As a junior, he played on the Piqua team that advanced to the D-II regional finals before losing to eventual state champion Winton Woods. Piqua won two MVL titles in his three years and over the last two seasons he caught 23 passes for 497 yards and six touchdowns.

In track, he helped Piqua win its first conference track title in many years as a junior.

And Brown said the decision to run at Ashland University for the next four years was an easy one.

“They have such a great program,” he said. “Everybody there is champions. They breed Olympic athletes. I really loved the whole area when I visited there. It is not too big and they have great academic programs.”

Brown is happy to be part of that program and looks forward to the challenge.

“My goal next year is to make a relay or make the travel team,” Brown said. “I will run the 400 and maybe the 800 some and hopefully be on a relay team.”

Nees said Ashland is a great fit for Brown.

“They have some great facilities,” he said. “They just built an all-new indoor track facility. Ryan (Brown) ran there in indoor track last year and after he visited there he loved the place.”

Just like he has grown to love track and the 400-meter dash.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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