Overland Park — If only the 800-meter run was 200 meters shorter Saturday, then there would have been a photo finish between Free State High's Adrian Ludwig, Justin White and Nick Ens.
As it was, the three Firebirds outran the rest of the field by a couple of strides and crossed the finish line 1-2-3 at the Sunflower League track and field meet, which was continued from Friday night because of lightning.
"I'm so used to it, it only seems natural when those guys are around me," said White, who along with Ens are seniors while Ludwig is a junior. "It's like that all the time when we practice. We really feed off of each other."
The three Firebirds, who literally crossed the 600-meter mark at exactly the same time, helped Free State's boys finish third Saturday at Shawnee Mission North's Merlin Gish track.
"We knew after Friday that we still had most of our better events still in front of us," said FSHS coach Steve Heffernan. "But I still didn't think we were competing the way that we should be. I was real pleased with the way we came out competitively today."
Lawrence High also had a successful day as its boys finished a spot ahead of the Firebirds, taking second with 109 points. Shawnee Mission Northwest won the meet with 162 points, while Free State scored 881Â¼2.
The Lions' girls team dropped one spot from Friday and finished third with 991Â¼2 points while the Firebirds tied with Olathe North for fifth with a score of 701Â¼2.
"To come back here after last night it's really kind of tough to get back in that competitive tempo," LHS coach Jerry Skakal said, "but I thought we were really rockin' and rollin.' I was really pleased."
In the 800 all three Firebirds stayed close throughout. By the time they had just a half lap left, all three were running side-by-side, boxing out the rest of the pack which was a good five yards behind.
"I was kind of dying on the last 100 yards, but I was trying to just follow their lead," said Ens, who finished third with a time of 1:59.30.
Ludwig won the race in 1:57.70 and White took second in 1:59.10. But the trio Â which finished 1-2-3 at last year's Sunflower meet as well as regionals Â wasn't satisfied with glory in just the 800. The team, along with sprinter Damien Harden, won the 1,600 relay.
"If we run our race we'll be able to finish 1-2-3 at regionals and state," White said. "If we were to do that and win the 1,600 relay, that would be complete domination."