Tevin Brown and Tevin Petrie have more in common than the five letters in their first name.
The dynamic duo shines under the bright lights for Norton on Fridays in the fall. On the track, they leave everybody in their dust — except each other.
Brown, a senior, and Petrie, a sophomore, displayed this best at Friday’s Phillipsburg Invitational when Brown edged his teammate by .06 seconds to win the 100-meter dash. He got the best of him by .07 seconds to win silver at the Norton Invitational on April 8. Petrie got his turn when he held off Brown for second at the Redmen Relays in Smith Center.
But Petrie makes his name in the 200, an event in which he ranks eighth in in Class 3A. He’s 3-for-3 in golds this season. Even so, his season-best run of 23.10 is just faster than Brown’s 23.12.
“We just push each other at practice. It’s really good having him at my side,” Petrie said. “He’s a good friend of mine, so we just push each other through everything.
“It’s even better because we have the same name.”
According to estimates from data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are roughly 1,600 people in the country named Tevin. Though a rarity for two people with a unique name to be in the same school in a town of 2,880, Brown said ‘they make a great pair’.
The duo makes its staple together on Norton’s 400-meter relay, the defending champion in Class 3A. The foursome of Kobie Unterseher, Petrie, Gavin Lively and Brown put together a 43.72 race to fend off St. Marys, anchored by Brown.
All but Unterseher return for this season, but with three-sport athlete Jace Ruder in his place, the team is not missing a beat.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to have everyone back except for one person and be able to fill him pretty easily,” Petrie said. “It’s pretty awesome. We just have a lot of pressure on us, but I think we’ll be able to handle that and hopefully repeat.”
Before last season, neither of the relay competitors competed at the state meet. Brown walked away with additional third-place medals in the 100 and 200, while Ruder came one spot shy of making the finals in the 400. Competing on the grandest stage of high school track gave Brown insight to how to prepare throughout the season leading up to this year’s state meet.
“It’s quite eye-opening and tells you what you need to deal with throughout the season so you can get back to that point,” Brown said. “I got third last year, and it kinda motivates me this year to do better.”
The team put together a 43.73 performance Friday, the fastest time by a 3A school this season by seven-tenths of a second. The foursome followed up with a 43.42, the 13th fastest run in the state this season and a new Norton record, breaking a mark set in 1997.
Brown signed to play football at Hutchinson Community College. Lively also will continue his football career at Kansas State. Ruder, a sophomore, is among the state’s most touted young quarterbacks while Petrie had a breakout campaign, rushing for 848 yards at more than 7 yards per carry to go with a 388-yard, five-score performance against Plainville.
Ruder was also an all-area selection in basketball while Lively capped an undefeated wrestling season with a state title.
“We have a good connection from football season because it kinda started there,” Brown said. “It kinda just never broke through winter sports, so we just brought that from football to here.”
Petrie and Ruder will return to the relay next season as juniors as hopeful back-to-back defending champs. For now, Petrie knows the potential for the pair for the next three seasons.
“We know that we have a lot of potential the next couple years, but it’s not gonna come easy,” Petrie said. “Jace and I push each other in the weight room, we’ve been partners for awhile. It’s good to have him by my side, as well.”
Until Norton makes it’s inevitable return to the 400 relay finals this season, Brown and Petrie will continue to go neck-and-neck down the homestretch. The pair has dreams of repeating in the event and finishing 1-2-3 with Lively in the 100 and 200.
For now, having another Tevin to compete with is fine by Brown.
“It’s just a name. When you have one name — Tevin, he’s good,” Brown said. “But when you have two, it makes a good pair, a good thing to deal with.”