National champion Stafford No. 1 on TSN women's swimming list
- Created: Thursday, 29 July 2021 05:45
By RICK PETERSON
Topeka High product Shara Stafford experienced incredible success at every level of an outstanding swimming career, earning the No. 1 spot on the TopSports.news Best of the Best Top 25 women's swimming list.
Stafford was a multi-event Class 6A champion and record-setter for Topeka High before claiming a national NCAA Division I championship in the 200-yard freestyle in 2010 while helping Florida claim a team championship.
A 13-time All-American for the Gators, Stafford went on to star at Missouri in her final season, earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors while earning three more All-America honors and setting five school records for the Tigers.
Former Hayden star Shannon Suddarth earned the No. 2 spot on the Best of the Best list after winning four state titles for the Wildcats, becoming a nine-time All-American at Notre Dame and setting two Big East records that stood for 11 years, while Topeka West record-setter and Virginia All-American Emily Dicus and West star and NCAA Division II individual and team champion Kelli Dudley hold down the No. 3 and 4 positions in the Top 25.
Current Topeka West phenom Kadence Jeffries garnered the No. 5 position on the Best of the Best list on the strength of winning four Class 5A-1A individual state titles in as many attempts while still having a season of high school eligibility remaining.
Jeffries, who swept the 200 and 500 freestyle events as a freshman and junior, also earned the Readers Choice Award while another current prep swimmer, Seaman's Gabby Grace, and former Washburn Rural and Kansas standout Sammie Schurig finished second and third in reader votes.
Here's a look at the Top 25 and Readers Choice Awards:
TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S SWIMMERS