With nationally-ranked track & field programs at Pittsburg State (men and women) and two individual state championship winners in Drew Davied of Girard and Kaylee Bogina of Northeast, it was another solid year for track & field in Crawford County.
The Pittsburg girls won a Southeast Kansas League title on their home course, Girard swept boys and girls titles in the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League, the Northeast boys won a Three Rivers League title, the Pittsburg girls and Colgan boys finished second at their respective regionals and multiple athletes medaled at the state tournament held in Cessna Stadium, Wichita, one of the great Kansas sporting events.
We’re introducing something new this year — the Morning Sun All-County Track & Field Team.
For the second year in a row, a Crawford County school emerged from the Class 3A state tournament in Manhattan and Tointon Family Stadium with a championship earned by superior pitching, baserunning, defense and timely hitting.
Last year, it was the Frontenac Raiders who earned their first state baseball title in school history. This year, it was the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers who claimed their state record 17th title. Frontenac won by run-rule over Wellsville and Colgan won by run-rule over Silver Lake in the title games.
Speaking of Frontenac, the Raiders had their undefeated season ended by Coffeyville in the Class 4A regional final. Frontenac won its first 20 games of the season, including all 18 in the regular season, and the last two seasons brought a 44-3 overall record, a state title, a regional title and back-to-back Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League titles, the first two in program history.
We all know that change, whether on a small scale or especially on a large scale, is easier said than done and presents innumerable challenges both small-scale and large-scale.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) announced on Tuesday change will be coming to Class 4A in football, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball.
The proposal drafted by Rod Wittmer of Holton, Steve Blankenship of Pratt and Randy Heatherly of Girard to split 4A into large and small divisions (32 schools apiece) for postseason play in those five sports passed a majority vote of the 64 4A schools, 42-22.
The split will take effect for volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball during the 2013-2014 school year and in football in 2014. Football districts are determined every two years, unlike the other four sports.
Three of the six Crawford County softball teams finished above .500 (Frontenac, Girard, Southeast) and three finished below .500 (Colgan, Northeast, Pittsburg) this past season.
Once again, Frontenac led the way with 20 wins and claimed back-to-back Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League titles with a 13-1 run through league games. The Raiders made their second state tournament appearance in three years and the senior group of Lindsey Gorham, Jennifer Long, Nayna Fields, Sam Bonner, Libby Warrick and Ashton Alex finished their careers 75-16 with two state appearances and two league championships.
Girard, Northeast and Southeast made their respective regional semifinals but unfortunately, all three ended their season at that stage.
The Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League released its All-League selections Tuesday and Frontenac led the way with 16 overall selections in baseball and softball, including a sweep of Coach of the Year honors for baseball coach Bill Sullivan and softball coach Cassie Buche.
Girard freshman Drew Davied closed out the year by winning a state title in the high jump.
Girard junior golfer Timbrelee McNair won the first Crawford County high school state title of the year in October.
This victory culminated a three-year run for McNair and gave her the only milestone lacking from her career. Plus, it earned her a spot in the Oct. 29 double issue of Sports Illustrated as one of the “Faces in the Crowd” — also featured in the issue were Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Collin Klein, Miguel Cabrera and the annual NBA Preview.
Previous faces in the crowd include Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Fischer, Lew Alcindor (later and better known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Terry Bradshaw, Chris Evert, Bill Walton, David Thompson, Earvin Johnson, Jackie Joyner, Carl Lewis, Don Mattingly, Herschel Walker, Greg LeMond and Tiger Woods.
McNair described her first reaction to being featured within SI.
Girard freshman Drew Davied capped off a memorable first high school track season in style Saturday morning at the 103rd annual Kansas state championship in Cessna Stadium.
Davied won Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League and regional titles in the high jump and he can now add his first state title to his list of accomplishments.
He matched his personal best of 6 feet, 8 inches, edging out Garrison LeRock and Lane Macari of Andale in the Class 4A high jump.
The first day of the Kansas state track meet produced one state champion from Crawford County and she took her place in a family tradition.
The Kansas state track meet this weekend in Wichita will feature nearly 3,500 high school athletes competing at the 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A levels.
Events start at 8 a.m. Friday and wrap up Saturday evening in Cessna Stadium.
Cox Kansas 22 will televise 72 races beginning 3 p.m. Saturday with the girls and boys 4x100 relays, 400-meter dash, 300 low hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles, 800 runs, 200 dashes and 4x400 relays. Team awards will be presented after the conclusion of the last 4x400 race.
County schools Pittsburg (4A), St. Mary’s Colgan (3A), Frontenac (4A), Girard (4A), Northeast (2A) and Southeast (3A) will be represented by several.
The Pittsburg girls finished second in the Class 4A regional Friday at Iola and placed a small percentage of the 3,456 qualifiers across the state of Kansas for next weekend's state track meet in Wichita.
Chelsea Baker qualified in several events: second in the triple jump at 35 feet, 6 3/4 inches, fourth in the high jump at 5-0, third in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.82 seconds and she participated in the second place 4x100 relay with Nicole Striplin, Sarah Jewett and Andie Casper.
Casper won the lone Pittsburg girls regional title in the long jump with a leap of 17-3 1/4. She finished just outside the top four in the 100 and the 200. Casper also participated in the 4x400 with Jewett, Striplin and Lizzy Willis.
The versatile Jewett finished third in the 800 in 2:28.15 and took part in all three state-qualifying relays: 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 with Willis, freshman Morgan Plank and Katie Phalen.