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By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Recent Hayden graduate Finn Dunshee raised a lot of eyebrows with his dominating performance in last month's Class 3A state track meet, capturing three gold medals for the second straight season.

And that performance also helped change Dunshee's mind about his future plans.

FinnDunsheeShrineBowl 2Former Hayden two-sport star Finn Dunshee will play for the East in Saturday's Kansas Shrine Bowl before concentrating on track in college. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Dunshee, who helped Hayden finish second as a team in Class 3A in both football and track as a senior, had planned to walk away from sports and concentrate on academics at the University of Dallas.

But after sweeping the 3A titles in the 100-meter (10.60 seconds) and 200-meter (21.99) dashes and helping the Wildcats win the 4x400 relay (3:26.01) and post a runnerup finish in the 4x100 relay (42.52), Dunshee started having second thoughts.

"After that state meet I knew I had more in me,'' said Dunshee, who will play his final football game in Saturday night's Kansas Shrine Bowl at Emporia State's Welch Stadium. "I wasn't done peaking. I had been improving for the last consecutive five or six weeks before that state race.

"And at state I really didn't have anyone to push me, so I was like, 'I've got more time in me, I can do more.' ''

So while Dunshee is still headed to the state of Texas for college, he's changed his destination to Fort Worth and Texas Christian University.

FinnDunsheeSTATETRACKSAT 1Hayden product Finn Dunshee won three Class 3A state gold medals in the 2024 Kansas State Track and Field Championships at Wichita and plans to run collegiately at TCU. [File photo/TSN]

"The plan is, if all things go according to plan, I hope to walk on for TCU track,'' Dunshee said. "That would be the ideal. I've been talking with them. I go down for orientation next week and hopefully meet with them.''

Dunshee compiled a sparkling 4.306 grade point average at Hayden, which has opened some doors for him.

"A big part of it was money,'' Dunshee said. "I got more scholarship money. I got some external scholarships that transferred so that was definitely a big deal. It's going to help us take that chance. I had really wanted to do track, I had always wanted to do that.''

Now the goal for Dunshee, who holds four Hayden school records, is to continue showing enough improvement to eventually earn a Division I scholarship.

"A lot of the teams have already done a lot of their recruiting, a lot of their stuff has already been done and a lot of the spots have already been filled, so I'm just looking towards next year,'' Dunshee said.

"I'm going to finally get off an asphalt track and under some really quality coaches I'm hoping I'm going to be able to get a scholarship opportunity.''

But before turning all of his attention to track, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Dunshee will play football one last time.

"It's for the kids,'' Dunshee said. "It's awesome and it's a great thing they do here. I'm excited to get out and practice again and see if some of my track speed might transfer. Getting to play some of these crazy athletes, it's definitely different than 3A so I'm ready to see what I can do.''

As a senior, Dunshee fought back from a torn MCL to help 12-1 Hayden advance to the 3A title game. Despite missing five full games, Dunshee rushed for 844 yards and 14 touchdowns on 60 attempts and caught 17 passes for 229 yards and three TDs.

Dunshee earned All-Shawnee County Top 22 honors for the second straight season.

Also playing for the East are former Shawnee County stars Callen Barta of Seaman, Christian Gonzales of Shawnee Heights, JC Heim of Washburn Rural, Carter Charvat of Hayden and Barrett Lietz of Rossville.

Barta will play collegiately for Kansas State while Gonzales and Heim will play at Washburn University and Charvat at Benedictine. Lietz will attend Kansas State.

Washburn Rural coach Steve Buhler and Shawnee Heights' Jason Swift are serving as East assistant coaches.

 

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