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Olympian Carrington tops TSN Best of the Best men's track list

 By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

There's probably at least 50 Shawnee County track and field athletes that could have been deemed worthy of spots on the TopSports.news Best of the Best Top 25 list for men's track and field, including a handful that could have been picked No. 1 without raising many eyebrows.

But when all was said and done, the only local star to compete in the Oympic Games got the nod.

Preston Carrington, now known as Syed Abdul Mutfi, was a star in basketball for both Topeka High and Wichita State, but saved his biggest achievements for track and field, placing fifth in the long jump in the 1972 Olympics.

 Preston CarringtonPreston Carrington (Syed Abdul Mutfi) [File photo

Carrington, who won a state high jump title at High and placed third and sixth in the NCAA meet for the Shockers, made the '72 USA Olympic team and took second in the Olympics qualifying round with a personal-best jump of 26 feet, 11.75 inches, which would have been good for a silver medal if it had come in the finals.

In addition to his prowess in the long jump, Carrington also posted career-bests of 9.5 seconds in the 100-yard dash, 14.0 in the 120-yard hurdles, 6-foot-8.75 in the high jump and 48-0.75 in the triple jump.

Marcel CarterMarcel Carter [File photo]

Mikey HofferMikey Hoffer [Huskers.com]

Shawnee Heights sprint legend and Florida All-American Marcel Carter earned the No. 2 spot on the Top 25 while former T-Bird and current Nebraska star jumper Mikey Hoffer garnered the No. 3 position, just ahead of former Highland Park and Oregon star hurdler Jared Huske and Topeka High and K-State middle distance star Clardy Vinson.

 Jared HuskeJared Huske [Submitted]

Huske won the Readers Choice Award while Carrington ranked No. 2 and Hoffer third in reader votes.

Here's a look at the Top 25 and Readers Choice Awards:

TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES

1. Preston Carrington (Topeka High) -- Carrington, whose legal name is now Syed Abdul Mutfi, won a state high jump title for the Trojans, but may have been best known as a basketball player at Topeka High and Wichita State. That changed when he earned a spot on the 1972 United States Olympic Team as a long-jumper. Carrington took second in the Olympics qualifying round with a personal-best jump of 26 feet, 11.75 inches, which would have been good for a silver medal if it had come in the finals. Carrington was not quite able to duplicate that jump in the finals, finishing fifth. A member of the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame and Wichita State Hall of Fame, Carrington placed third and sixth in the NCAA meet in the long jump while at WSU.

2. Marcel Carter (Shawnee Heights) -- A member of the Kansas State HIgh School Activities Association Hall of Fame, Carter won eight state gold medals for the T-Birds, becoming the first male in the state to win four 200-meter titles and adding two titles in the 100 and 400. Carter posted a top time of 10.43 seconds (10.2 hand-timed) in the 100-meter dash and a 21.02 in the 200. Carter went on to become a multi-time All-American for Florida, won three SEC titles and also competed professionally and in the Olympic Trials.

3. Mikey Hoffer (Shawnee Heights) -- Hoffer helped Heights win a 5A team title as a freshman, was a three-time state champion in the high jump and won four gold medals at state as a senior, sweeping the high jump, long jump and triple jump events. A 7-foot high-jumper in high school, Hoffer has gone on to star at Nebraska, advancing to the NCAA Championships this past spring in the long jump (25 feet, 8.25 inches) and the high jump (7 feet, 2.25 inches). 

4. Jared Huske (Highland Park) -- A former star at Highland Park, Huske continues to be regarded as one of the greatest high school hurdlers in Kansas history. Huske is still ranked No. 2 on the state all-time list in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.4 seconds and is No. 6 in the 300 hurdles with a best time of 36.93. Huske went on to earn All-Pac 10 honors and compete in the NCAA meet for Oregon.

5. Clardy Vinson (Topeka High) -- A member of the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame, Vinson was a three-time state champion for the Trojans and was a Big 8 Conference champion and All-American for Kansas State in 1971 and '72. Vinson was part of a distance medley relay team that set a world record.

6. Winston Tidwell (Topeka West) -- Tidwell was a state champion in the 800 meters for Topeka West and ranked No. 3 in state history behind Kansas legends Jim Ryun and Bob Baratti with a time of 1:50.13. Tidwell went on to run for Ohio State.

7. R.D. Cogswell (Seaman) -- Cogswell captured a 6A state high jump championship for Seaman before going on to become a three-time Big 8 Conference high jump champion for Kansas State in 1991 and '92, winning two outdoor titles and one indoor crown. Cogswell jumped 7-1 in high school and 7-2.50 in college.

8. Dan O'Mara (Hayden) -- Also a football standout at Hayden, O'Mara won state titles in the shot put, discus and 100-meter dash for the Wildcats and went on to become a Big 8 shot put and discus champ at Kansas State while earning All-American honors.

9. Iain Trimble (Shawnee Heights) -- Trimble was a three-time 5A state champion in the javelin for the T-Birds and set state and national records as a senior. Also a football standout for Heights, Trimble went on to throw the javelin for Kansas, fighting through injuries in college.

10. Ryan Koontz (Washburn Rural) -- Koontz was a two-time state champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and went on to become a national junior college champion in the decathlon for Independence Community College and starred at Clemson, earning NCAA All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.

11. Jeremiah Smith (Shawnee Heights) -- Smith, who completed his sophomore season this spring, won three 5A individual events in his first state track meet, taking wins in the 100-meter dash, the 200 dash and the 110-meter high hurdles. Earlier in the season Smith broke Carter's school record in the 100.

12. Nik Giancana (Topeka West) -- Giancana was a two-time Class 5A state high jump champion for the Chargers before going on to stand out for Kansas, including a 7-foot-3 jump in the 2015 Big 12 championships.

13. Sharrieff Hazim (Topeka West) -- Hazim was one of the premier high-jumpers in Kansas history for Topeka West, clearing 7 foot, 2 inches. Hazim equaled that jump while competing in college for Kansas. Hazim is a member of the Topeka West Hall of Fame.

14. Duke Tibbs (Topeka High) -- Tibbs was a state champion and four-time state medalist in 2013, leading Topeka High to the 6A team championship. Tibbs went on to become an All-American for Emporia State.

15. Mark Pickens (Topeka West) -- Pickens set an all-time state best in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.35 seconds. Pickens was a three-time state champion in the 100 and went on to attend Georgia Tech.

16. Jason Stuke (Seaman) -- Stuke was a state champion in the shot put and discus for Seaman and went on to become Emporia State's first NCAA Division II national champion in the shot put in 1998 while also setting a school record in the discus. Stuke was a 10-time All-American and seven-time MIAA champ. Stuke is in the ESU Hall of Fame.

17. Troy Wilson (Shawnee Heights) -- A 1989 graduate of Shawnee Heights, Wilson was a two-time state champion in basketball, was a two-year starter in football and won three state gold medals in track as a thrower. Wilson went on to earn All-America honors in both track and football at Pittsburg State and played seven years in the NFL. Wilson is a member of the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame.

18. Joe Reagan (Seaman) -- Reagan was a multi-time 5A sprint champion for Seaman and had a top time of 10.43 seconds in the 100-meter dash.

19. Ryan Irvin (Seaman) -- Irvin was a star sprinter during an outstanding four-year career for Seaman, posting a top time of 47.9 seconds in the 400 meters and capping his high school career with an impressive win in that event in 48.45. Irvin went on to run at Central Missouri State.

20. Mark Hanson (Topeka High) -- Hanson was one of the state's all-time best in the long jump, posting a personal best of 25 feet, 0.25 inches for the Trojans.

21. Harun Hazim (Topeka West) --  Hazim was a multi-time state champion for Topeka West and is a member of the school's hall of fame. He remains one of the top triple-jumpers in state history, posting a top mark of 49 feet, 3.25 inches.

22. Richard Barber (Topeka High) -- Barber was a star jumper for Topeka High, posting a best of 24 feet, 8.25 inches in the long jump and 49-5.75 in the triple jump.

23. Rasheed McAlpin (Shawnee Heights) -- McAlpin was a multi-time 5A state champion for Shawnee Heights, clocking a time of 37.74 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles, while helping lead the T-Birds to a state team title.

24. Jesse Vaughn (Shawnee Heights) -- Vaughn was a 5A state javelin champion before going on to win a Big 12 javelin title for Kansas.

25. Kevin Sloan (Hayden) -- Sloan set a 4A state meet record in the long jump for the Wildcats, sailing 24 feet, 6.75 inches.

READERS CHOICE AWARDS

1. Jared Huske -- No. 4 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

2. Preston Carrington -- No. 1 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

3. Mikey Hoffer -- No. 3 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

4. Dan O'Mara -- No. 8 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Marcel Carter -- No. 2 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Jeremiah Smith -- No. 11 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

5. (tie) Rasheed McAlpin -- No. 23 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

8. (tie) Clardy Vinson -- No. 5 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

8. (tie) R.D. Cogswell -- No. 7 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

8. (tie) Joe Reagan -- No. 18 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).

8. (tie) Antoine Dulan -- Was a multi-sport star at Washburn Rural also played football and ran track at Kansas State.

Next up: Volleyball Best of the Best Top 25 and Readers Choice Awards.