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

Rick Peterson


There's probably at least 50 Shawnee County track and field athletes that could have been deemed worthy of spots on the 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 []

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:


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Nickoley claims second Best of the Best No. 1

Rick Peterson


Former Shawnee Heights star Trisa Nickoley made history as a runner and also makes history as the first Shawnee County athlete to claim multiple No. 1s in the Best of the Best Top 25 project.

After being named the TSN Best of the Best women's cross country runner earlier this month, Nickoley also garnered the top spot for women's track and field after going undefeated in individual state competition while earning 13 track gold medals (17 overall) and a place in the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Nickoley, who earned All-Big 12 honors at Missouri, won four straight titles in the 400, 800 and 1,600 meters as well as a relay win and is still No. 1 on the Kansas all-time list in the 800 with a time of 2 minutes, 06.57 seconds.

Trisa NickoleyTrisa Nickoley [Missouri Athletics]

JudyDyerJudy Dyer [File photo]

Rita GravesRita Graves [Kansas State Athletics]

Topeka High graduate Judy Dyer ranks No. 2 on the Best of the Best list after starring at Texas Southern and representing the United States as a hurdler in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games while another High product, Rita Graves, holds down the No. 3 spot after winning an NCAA Division I high jump title for Kansas State. 

Local sprint legends Jocelyn Bentley (Highland Park) and Lori Green (Topeka West) round out the top five.

Laura Mayo (Washburn Rural) earned the Readers Choice Award with more than 150 votes while Nickoley finished second in reader votes. Mayo won an NCAA Division II national championship in 1998 in the hammer throw.

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


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