Shawnee County girls track and field athletes came up short of winning a state championship in the 2023 state meet at Wichita, but it was still a noteworthy weekend for the local contingent.

BethanyDruseState1Seaman senior Bethany Druse (1715) was a triple state medalist in Class 5A, including a second-place finish in the 800 and a third in the 4x400 relay. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

TaMijaNicholsState1Shawnee Heights senior Ta'Mijha Nichols looks up at the Cessna Stadium scoreboard after finishing second in the Class 5A girls 100 for the second straight season. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

AlaJahBrooksState2Ala'Jah Brooks (1741) finished a very close second in last weekend's Class 5A 400 meters and also finished fourth in the 200. [Photo by Kyle Grunert/Special to TSN]

NatalieHillebertState1Hayden junior Natalie Hillebert (left) exchanges congratulations with Andale's Maddie Schrandt after last Saturday's Class 4A girls 400-meter dash in Wichita. [Photo by Kyle Grunert/Special to TSN]

County athletes finished second in four events while 19 of 24 members of the All-Shwnee County first team went home with state medals in four different classes.

Seaman senior star Bethany Druse was the state runnerup in the Class 5A 800 meters and was a medalist in three events while Shawnee Heights senior Ta'Mijha Nichols and Topeka West senior Ala'Jah Brooks also posted second-place finishes in 5A and Hayden junior Natalie Hillebert was a state runnerup in 4A.

Druse finished second in the 5A 800 in 2 minutes, 17.29 seconds and also helped Seaman post a third-place finish in the 4x400 relay (4:06.07) and a sixth in the 4x800 relay (9:57.46).

Heights' Nichols was the runnerup in the 5A 100-meter dash for the second straight season (12.17) while West's Brooks finished second in the 5A 400 (57.77) and Hayden's Hillebert placed second in the 4A 400 (58.83). Brooks added a fourth-place finish in the 200 (25.66).

Seaman sophomore Jaida Stallbaumer finished fifth in the 5A 100-meter high hurdles (16.04) and teamed with sophomore Ryin Miller, junior Taylin Stallbaumer and Druse for the third-place finish in the 4x400 relay while senior Leah Spurlock and sophomore Taylie Heston teamed with Druse and Miller for the sixth-place showing in the 4x800 relay.

Washburn Rural sophomores Payton Fink, Rylee Ismert and Brooklyn Nolte teamed with senior Madeline Carter for a fifth-place finish in the 4x800 relay (9:52.27).

Topeka West senior Makinsey Jones finished sixth in the 5A high jump (5-0) while Shawnee Heights senior Taylor Rottinghaus took seventh in the 5A 400 (61.65).

Silver Lake junior Ava Rottinghaus placed sixth in the 3A girls javelin (126 feet, 2 inches) and ran on the Eagles' fourth-place 4x400 relay (4:11.98) while Eagle junior Kaibryn Kruger placed sixth in the triple jump (34-10).

Rossville senior Amelia Foster was also a double 3A medalist, finishing sixth in the 800 (2:24.53) and eighth in the 400 (61.37).

Hayden sophomore Rae North earned an eighth-place medal in the 4A 400 meters.

All-Shawnee County selections were picked on the basis of meeting minimum standards established by local coaches as well as coaches' recommendations and performances in postseason competition.


Name, school                                            Class    Events

Ala'Jah Brooks, Topeka West                      Sr.         Sprints

Madeline Carter, Washburn Rural               Sr..        Distance, relays

Bethany Druse, Seaman                             Sr.         Distance, relays

Payton Fink, Washburn Rural                     So.         Distance, relays

Amelia Foster, Rossville                              Sr.          Middle distance

Alexis Fredrickson, Washburn Rural           Sr.          Sprints, pole vault

Taylie Heston, Seaman                               So.          Relays

Natalie Hillebert, Hayden                            Jr.            Sprints

Rylee Ismert, Washburn Rural                    So.         Distance

Makinsey Jones, Topeka West                   Sr..          Jumps

Kaibryn Kruger, Silver Lake                        Jr.            Jumps

Brynne Liedtke, Shawnee Heights              Sr.           Pole vault

Keimara Marshall, Topeka High                  Fr.            Sprints

Ryin Miller, Seaman                                    Fr.            Distance, relays

Ta'Mijha Nichols, Shawnee Heights            Sr.            Sprints

Brooklyn Nolte, Washburn Rural                 So            Relays

Rae North, Hayden                                     So.            Sprints

Ava Rottinghaus, Silver Lake                      Jr.             Javelin

Taylor Rottinghaus, Shawnee Heights        Sr.             Sprints, relays

Leah Spurlock, Seaman                             Sr.              Distance, relays

Jaida Stallbaumer, Seaman                       So..             Hurdles, relays

Taylin Stallbaumer, Seaman                       Jr.               Hurdles, relays

Aubreona Torres-Hill, Topeka High             So.              Hurdles

Ally Trier, Seaman                                       Sr.               Throws

Honorable mention

Hayden: Hannah Cummings, Grace Funk, Avery Grunert, Reagan Huscher, Liz Moore, Bella Reid, Alexis Rutherford, Hannah Sams, Sarah Schmidt, Elliot Wrench. Highland Park: Tahtionna Broils, Ke'Ahjahnae Rice, De'Asia Sanders. Seaman: Stella Appelhanz, Ally Condray, Anna Domann, Grace Jowers, Madison Kobuszewski, Maggie Lesmeister, Ally Steiner, Hailee Townsend. Shawnee Heights: Silver Lake: Ella Bolan, Mariah Farmer, Tessa Gerber, Jaiden Wise. Topeka High: Choize Hysten, Brooklyn Jones, Georgia Kelly, Alaina Perez, Jayanna Washington, Marilena Zuniga. Topeka West: Rebecca Bearman, Azaryah Duncan, Melliah Garvin, Kiarah James, Payton Rice, Mikayla Wilkerson. Washburn Rural: Maddi Blanco, Analese Estudillo, Raegan Petersen, Morgan Ray, Molly Worley.




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