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TopSports.news to honor Ichabod stars Beckler, Geiman, Scardanzan at Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

TopSports.news, in conjunction with Envista Credit Union and A-1 Lock and Key, will honor Washburn University stars Andrew Beckler, Tyler Geiman and Virgi Scardanzan as WU Athletes of the Year on June 30 in conjunction with the 16th annual Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet.

Beckler was named the MIAA player of the year this spring and finished his college golf career with a second-place individual finish in the NCAA Division II Championships while Geiman earned third-team NCAA Division II All-America men's basketball honors after leading the Ichabods to the MIAA Tournament title and the second round of the NCAA Tournament and Scardanzan, the No. 1-ranked D-II women's pole-vaulter in the nation, will compete in the NCAA Division II Championships this week in Allendale, Michigan after finishing second in the nation in the national indoor meet.

AndrewBeckleraction 2Washburn golf star Andrew Beckler, a Washburn Rural grad, will be honored on June 30 as the co-WU men's athlete of the year in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

 TylerGeimanWednesdayaction 2Tyler Geiman, a third-team All-American for the Washburn men's basketball team, will be honored as WU's co-men's athlete of the year on June 30 in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

VirgiScardanzanactionWashburn star pole-vaulter Virgi Scardanzan will be honored as the WU women's athlete of the year on June 30 in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

Beckler, Geiman and Scardanzan will be recognized along with the county's top high school senior student-athletes and the induction of the 2021 Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame class of Kyle McNorton, Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite at the Capitol Plaza Hotel's Maner Conference Center Sunflower Ballroom.

Beckler, Geiman and Scardanzan will the first Washburn Athlete of the Year honorees to be recognized as part of the Topeka Shawnee County awards.

Beckler, who was a Class 6A individual and team state champion for Washburn Rural and began his college career at Kansas State, holds Washburn records in multiple categories, including career scoring average (72.00) and season scoring average (70.4 in 2020-21).

He recorded a 72.00 stroke average in 26 events with 67 rounds played and had a total of 19 top-10 finishes, 12 top-five placings and five individual titles in three seasons and holds the record for highest individual finish in the NCAA Championships with last week's national runner-up finish.

Beckler was a three-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member and earned Scholar-Athlete honors as a senior.

Geiman, who has one year of eligibility remaining, has played in 115 career games for the Ichabod basketball team, scoring 1,392 points and ranking No. 2 in career assists with 558.

Geiman, a former star at Blue Valley High School, ranks fourth at WU in career-3-pointers with 208 and became the first Ichabod to have at least 1,000 career points, 500 assists, 500 rebounds and 100 steals during the 2020-21 regular season and recorded the first triple-double in school history with 17 poiints, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against Northeastern State.

Geiman is a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member and a two-time MIAA Academic Scholar and is a three-time all-MIAA selection with two first-team awards.

Scardanzan, a junior pole-vaulter from Preganziol, Italy, topped her own Washburn school record and recorded the best mark in NCAA Division II this season with an NCAA automatic qualifying vault of 14 feet, 3.25 inches (4.35 meters) in the Loper Twilight Qualifier at Kearney, Neb.

Scardanzan, second in the NCAA Division II indoor meet earlier this season, broke her own school record of 13-11.25 (4.25) set at the MIAA Outdoor Championships en route to winning the conference pole vault title.

Scardanzan's season-best is the ninth best in the college ranks this season out of all NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA competition. She is a three-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll member.

The '21 Hall of Fame class includes 1978 Seaman graduate McNorton and Highland Park graduates Weems (2007) and Wilhoite (2005).

McNorton was a star linebacker at Kansas and played for the Kansas City Chiefs while Weems earned All-State basketball honors at Highland Park before going on to become the Missouri Valley player of the year for Missouri State and embarking on a long and continuing professional career overseas. Wilhoite starred for Washburn's football team and played six seasons in the National Football League before becoming an assistant coach in the NFL.

The most recent Topeka Shawnee County banquet was held in 2019 before last year's ceremonies were canceled due to COVID-19.

Shawnee County's top senior student-athletes will be honored for the 16th time on June. 30.

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 will also be asked to nominate a female and male candidate for most inspirational athlete.

A  committee of local media members will select the 2021 winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year. The nominees for this year's high school awards will be announced in the near future.

General admission tickets for the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet are $25 per person and include dinner.

Ticket information is available on topsports.news

The most recent Hall of Fame class in 2019 included Washburn Rural coaching legend Ron Bowen, 17-time state cross county and track champion Trisa Nickoley of Shawnee Heights and the late Pete Goering, who served The Topeka Capital-Journal as a sports reporter, columnist and editor in a 35-year career at the paper.

Hayden's Brooklyn Hunter and Washburn Rural's Carly Bachelor were named co-outstanding female athletes of the year in 2019 while Rural's Jordan White was named the male outstanding athlete.