By RICK PETERSON
Local sports greats Aaron Crow, Kaylee Manns and Dani (McHenry) Schmidt will join the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on June 22, the 16th induction class into the local shrine.
TopSports.news, in conjunction with University of Kansas Health Systems St Francis Campus, A-1 Lock and Key and Washburn University, will host the induction and Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards ceremonies at the Washburn University Memorial Union.
Crow is a Washburn Rural High School graduate who went on to become the NCAA Division I college pitcher of the year at Missouri and an American League All-Star for the Kansas City Royals.
Manns, a Rural graduate, was a standout for Washburn Rural in volleyball, basketball and soccer before earning All-America volleyball honors at Iowa State and embarking on a long professional career.
A Shawnee Heights graduate, (McHenry) Schmidt was a volleyball and basketball star for the T-Birds and earned All-American volleyball honors at Washburn University while also playing on WU's national championship basketball team.
Shawnee County's top senior high school student-athletes will be honored for the 16th time on June 22nd.
Shawnee County high schools Cair Paravel Latin, Hayden, Highland Park, Rossville, Seaman, Shawnee Heights, Silver Lake, Topeka High, Topeka West and Washburn Rural have been asked to nominate one female and male candidate with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average as outstanding student-athlete nominees for the fall, winter and spring seasons. County high schools have also been asked to nominate a female and male candidate for most inspirational athlete.
A committee of local media members will select the 2022 winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year.
Hayden's Desmond Purnell and Silver Lake's Ellington Hogle were named the overall athletes of the year in 2021
The nominees for this year's high school awards will be announced in early June after the conclusion of the spring high school season.
Hall of Fame class of 2022 capsules:
A 2005 Washburn Rural graduate Crow was a standout for the Junior Blues before posting a 23-8 record with a 3.27 earned run average in three seasons for Missouri.
As a sophomore or the Tigers, Crow went 9-4 with a 3.60 ERA, earning first-team All Big 12 honors. Crow went 13-0 as a junior with a 2.35 ERA, threw four complete-game shutouts and struck out 10.65 batters per nine innings. He was named the Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year and earned the Roger Clemens Award as the NCAA Division I College Baseball Pitcher of the Year.
Crow was selected by the Washington Nationals in the first round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft with the ninth overall selection. After playing for the Fort Worth Cats in 2009 Crow was selected with the 12th pick in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals. Crow signed a contract with the Royals on September 15, 2009.
Crow made his first Major League appearance on March 31, 2011, which was Opening Day, facing four Angels batters and striking out three. Crow was named to the 2011 American League All-Star team. He played four seasons with the Royals and also had stints with the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs before serious elbow and rotator cuff injuries cut short his MLB career. Crow finished his professional career in the Mexican Baseball League, retiring after the 2018 season.
Manns was a three-sport standout in volleyball, basketball and soccer at Washburn Rural, leading the Junior Blues to their first-ever Class 6A state volleyball championship in 2004.
Manns went on to a stellar career at Iowa State, where she led her team to three consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. Manns was an American Volleyball Coaches Association second-team All-American in 2008 and 2009, a Volleyball Magazine first-team All-American in 2009 and earned All-Big 12 first-team honors in 2008 and 2009.
Manns was named the Iowa State Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2008 and was inducted into the Iowa State Hall of Fame in 2021. She finished her career as the Cyclones'; career assists leader and fourth all-time in assists in the Big 12. Manns was the first player in Big 12 history to record 5,500 assists, 1000 digs, 300 kills and 300 blocks in a career. Manns was one of 24 players selected for the U.S. Women’s National Training Team.
A member of the Kansas Volleyball Association Hall of Fame, Manns has put together a long pro career, playing for teams in Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Turkey, and Brazil. She has also played in the USA Professional Volleyball League and Athletes Unlimited.
DANI (McHENRY) SCHMIDT
Dani (McHenry) Schmidt led Shawnee Heights' volleyball team to back-to-back Class 5A state titles in 1999 and 2000. Schmidt earned first-team All-Centennial League recognition all four years and was the league player of the year her sophomore, junior and senior years. A member of the Kansas Volleyball Association Hall of Fame, Schmidt was named to the 5A All-State team her sophomore, junior, and senior years and was the Kansas Sports Magazine Player of the Year in 2000.
Dani (McHenry) Schmidt became the first AVCA All-American in Washburn history when she earned honorable mention in 2003. The next year she was named a third-team All-American selection. McHenry played volleyball three years at Washburn after transferring from Kansas and recorded 1,491 kills, which was sixth all-time at Washburn. She helped lead the Lady Blues to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002. Schmidt earned All-MIAA first-team honors three times.
After having 23 double-figure kill matches her first year for Washburn she had more than 30 each of her last two seasons as a Lady Blue. Her 558 kills her junior year was the third-highest season total in Washburn history. She also finished her career first all-time in career kills per set with 4.01.
McHenry also played basketball under her father, Ron McHenry, for four years at Washburn and helped the Lady Blues to a NCAA Division II national championship and four MIAA regular- season titles.