Bri Rispress of the Hilliard Darby High School girls track and field team felt like she was competing in the shadow of her older brother, Jordan, the past three seasons.

Bri Rispress of the Hilliard Darby High School girls track and field team felt like she was competing in the shadow of her older brother, Jordan, the past three seasons.

As a senior in 2009, Jordan Rispress capped his career at Darby by winning the Division I state title in the 300-meter hurdles (37.56 seconds) and placing third at state in the 100 hurdles (14.52). He earned a track scholarship to Clemson University.

Now a senior, Bri Rispress believes she's starting to make a name for herself.

"I've had so many people come up to me at meets to ask if I'm related to Jordan, and that was hard for me at times because it caused me to put a lot of pressure on myself to try to equal what he's accomplished," she said. "I still hear people make comments calling me 'Little Jordan Rispress' and stuff like that, but it doesn't bother me anymore because I feel like I'm starting to make my own history."

In a dual meet April 17 against Olentangy Orange, Rispress won the high jump by clearing a program-record 5 feet, 4 inches. She also won the 100 hurdles in 15.2, anchored the 800 relay to a first-place finish (1:49) and ran a 2:26 split for the second-place 3,200 relay.

"Bri is finally realizing that she has a special gift and she's working harder than she's ever worked before," coach Don Seymour said. "This is, by far, the best start to a season that she's ever had. She already has run the third best time of anyone in the state in the 100 hurdles with a 14.9, and I believe her best performances are still to come."

Inspired by her brother, Rispress began hurdling as a sixth-grader under the guidance of her father, Larry, who competed in the hurdles for Central State University.

"My dad taught me the most about hurdling and my high school coach (Dennis Moore) is a great coach, too," she said. "I was the only sixth-grader who got to compete for the Heritage Middle School team, and I was a natural in the hurdles. I already felt like I could beat eighth-graders back then."

Rispress struggled with academics as a freshman, and despite improving her grades each of the past three years she was diagnosed as having dyslexia, a learning disability that affects the ability to process written or spoken language.

"I had problems with my grades my freshman year, but with the help of a lot of my teachers, I was able to get a 3.0 grade-point average my sophomore year," she said. "I don't always comprehend questions very well and I definitely read slower than most people.

"When I was struggling with my grades and I didn't understand why, track was a great outlet. When I run fast, it clears stress from my mind. And track always has motivated me to get good grades so I can continue competing."

Rispress has improved throughout her high school career, and she advanced to the Division I regional meet in four events as a junior. She finished fifth in the 100 hurdles (15.42) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (46.48) as the top four in each event advanced to state.

She also led off the seventh-place 800 relay (1:44.78) and the 10th-place 1,600 relay (4:11.9).

"It was nice that my times went down and that I made three regional finals, but it was frustrating to come so close and not make it to state," she said.

Not only did Rispress set the program record in the high jump this season, but she also set personal records in the 300 hurdles (45.3 in the Icebreaker Invitational on March 24 at Watkins Memorial) and 100 hurdles (14.9 in the Wildcat Premier on March 31 at Davidson).
She already has been offered scholarships to Northern Kentucky and Wright State.

"I'm very excited about these opportunities," she said. "My goals are to make it to state for the first time, to place on the podium there and to compete in college. I've always wanted to stand on the podium at state ever since I saw Jordan do it."

After competing for Clemson for two seasons, Jordan Rispress has returned home while he prepares to transfer. This spring, he has been serving as a volunteer coach for the hurdlers on Darby's boys team, and he has spent time instructing his sister as well.

"Hurdling is in our blood because our dad passed it along to us," he said. "I'm impressed that my sister has done so well in so many events and I'm real proud of her. She's really developing into a great athlete, and now when people see her name, they're forgetting about me because she's making a name for herself by doing great things."