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  • Leonetti, Frederickson power Rural to top-five finish in 6A state golf

    Rick Peterson



    Washburn Rural seniors Luke Leonetti and Giles Frederickson capped their high school golf careers with banner performances in Tuesday's Class 6A state boys golf tournament at Mariah Hills in Dodge City, posting top-seven finishes as the Junior Blues posted a fifth-place team finish.

    RuralduoWashburn Rural seniors Luke Leonetti (right) and Giles Frederickson finished sixth and seventh in the Class 6A state tournament, leading the Junior Blues to a fifth-place team finish. [Submitted photo]

    Leonetti finished sixth individually with a 36-hole total of 148 while Frederickson was right behind his teammate with a seventh-place finish at 149.

  • Rural soccer rolls to eighth straight 6A final four berth with 8-0 shutout

    Rick Peterson



    Washburn Rural's girls soccer rematch with Wichita Northwest quickly turned into a mismatch, with the Junior Blues advancing to the Class 6A state semifinals for the eighth straight time with an 8-0 rout in Tuesday's quarterfinal contest at McElroy Field.

    FTkfAJlWIAMDvE0Washburn Rural senior Hunter McWilliams (left) battles Wichita Northwest's Raylen Grant in Rural's 8-0 win in Tuesday's Class 6A state quarterfinal game. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    FTkefDjXwAEdy5bWashburn Rural senior Reagan Allen had a goal and an assist in the first 9:01 of the Junior Blues' 8-0 win over Wichita Northwest in Tuesday's Class 6A state quarterfinal. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Rural (16-2-1) will take on Olathe Northwest (14-4-1) in Friday's 5 p.m. state semifinal at the College Boulevard Activity Center followed by a 7 o'clock semifinal between Blue Valley West (14-3-1) and Manhattan (15-3-1).

    The state championship game will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday, following the 12 o'clock third-place game.

    "Every team out there is able to beat us, but we're also able to beat them,'' said Rural senior standout Belle Kennedy, who had two goals and two assists in the game.

    The Junior Blues and Wichita Northwest had battled to a 1-1 tie in the regular season, but Tuesday was all Rural after the Junior Blues took control with two goals over the first 9:01 of the game.

    "The bigggest thing was just coming out strong,'' Kennedy said. "Once we immediately put them back on their heels we took control of the game.''

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers May 23, 2022

    Rick Peterson



    KadenceJeffriesmugKadence Jeffries

     KADENCE JEFFRIES, Topeka West

    Jeffries, a senior, swept the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events in last Saturday's Class 5A-1A state swimming and diving championships for the third straight season that the state meet was held, going six for six in state individual events. Jeffries, who has signed with Nebraska-Omaha, won the 200 free in 1:53.29 and the 500 free in 5:03.55 at the Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk


    A senior, Newkirk swept the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs in last Friday's Class 4A regional track and field championships at Eudora, helping the Wildcats edge Louisburg for the team championship. A Kansas signee, Newkirk ran the 800 in 1:59.04, the 1,600 in 4:27.52 and the 3,200 in 9:39.51 en route to pulling off the difficult distance triple.

  • Former West, WU standout Johnston to take reins of Rural tennis program

    Rick Peterson



    Former Topeka West and Washburn University tennis standout Brad Johnston has been named the head girls and boys tennis coach at Washburn Rural, taking over for longtime head coach Kevin Hedberg, who is retiring after 32 years at the school.

    FTeZO3uWYAAgmSNNew Washburn Rural boys and girls tennis coach Brad Johnston talks to his team Monday afternoon. Johnston is a former Topeka West and Washburn University standout. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Johnston was a four-time state medalist for Topeka West, graduating in 2004, and a two-time All-MIAA first-team selection for Washburn University, qualifying for the NCAA tournament four straight years.

    Johnson, who most recently coached at Landon Middle School, holds a bachelor's degree from Washburn and a master's from Fort Hays State University.

    "I'm proud for the opportunity to lead this tradition-rich program,'' said Johnston, who met with his new team Monday afternoon. "Following in coach Hedberg's footsteps will be challenging, but I'm ready to hit the ground running. Tennis has been my life for so long and to be given this opportunity makes my hard work feel complete. 

  • State golf roundup: Washburn Rural advances in 6A tournament

    Rick Peterson



    Washburn Rural's golf team assured itself of a top-six team finish in the Class 6A state tournament Monday, advancing to the second round of the tournament at Mariah Hills in Dodge City.

     LukeLeonettiCitynew 1Washburn Rural senior Luke Leonetti is tied for sixth in the Class 6A state tournament after an opening-round 73 at Mariah Hills in Dodge City. [File photo/TSN]

    The top six teams after the opening 18 holes moved on to Tuesday's final round, with the Junior Blues earning the final qualifying berth with a four-man score of 311, edging Shawnee Mission East by a stroke. Blue Valley West was the first-day leader at 299. 

    Senior Luke Leonetti paced the Junior Blues with an opening round of 2-over-par 73 and enters the second round tied for sixth place.

    Senior Giles Frederickson added a 76 for the Junior Blues, followed by Maddox Hight with an 80, Tadd Armstrong and Andrew Burdett with 82s and Turner Depperschmidt with an 83.

    Tuesday's second round is scheduled to get under way at 10 a.m.


    Regional team champ Seaman and runner-up Shawnee Heights came up short of team berths for the second round of the Class 5A state tournament at Winfield's Quail Creek Golf Course, but four city players remained alive for individual state medals.

  • West's Jeffries caps prep career with third state sweep; Seaman fourth in Class 5A-1A

    Rick Peterson



    Topeka West star Kadence Jeffries finished her prep swimming career the same way she started it, with a pair of state championships.

    Jeffries burst on the state scene with Class 5A-1A state titles in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 freestyle as a freshman in 2019 and repeated that sweep again in 2021 after having her sophomore campaign wiped out by COVID-19..

    Jeffries made it six individual state championships in as many tries on Saturday at the Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center.

    KadenceJeffries500Topeka West senior Kadence Jefffries earned her fifth and sixth Class 5A-1A state titles on Saturday. [File photo/TSN]

    AveryWalzstateSeaman sophomore Avery Walz won the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200 individual medley in Saturday's Class 5A-1A state swimming meet, helping lead the Vikings to a fourth-place team finish. [File photo/TSN]

    Jeffries opened her day with a win in the 200 free in 1 minute, 53.68 seconds and then came back later to win the 500 free in 5:03.55. 

    Seaman sophomore Avery Walz joined Jeffries on top of the awards stand, winning the state title in the 100-yard breatstroke in 1:06.03, helping lead the Vikings to a fourth-place team finish.

    A. Walz teamed with senior Gabby Grace, freshman Joslynn Grace and sophomore twin sister Tauren Walz for a third-place finish in the meet-opening 200 medley relay to get the Vikings' team bid off to a good start.

    A. Walz and J. Grace finished third and fifth in the 200 individual medley, with Walz clocking a time off 2:10.93 and Grace a time of 2:18.50.

    G. Grace finished fourth in the 100 freestyle (54.16) and the 100 backstroke (59.84), while T. Walz was fifth in the 500 freestyle (5:26.43) and posted a sixth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:00.39) before Seaman capped the day with a third-place finish in the 400 free relay, with T. Walz, J. Grace, G. Grace and A. Walz clocking a time of 3:41.10.

    Seaman finished with 175.5 points, following team champion Andover (258), St. James Academy (202) and Bishop Carroll (193).

    Topeka West finished 15th with 49 points.


    Topeka High junior Brianna Devlin ended her first season of high school diving with a fourth-place finish in the Class 6A state meet.

    Devlin was part of a tight four-person for the state title, with Blue Valley Northwest's Claire Garrelts taking first with a score of 395.80, followed by Derby's Ana Self (391.80), Blue Valley West's Rose Lawler (390.90) and Devlin (389.35).

    Washburn Rural junior Mara Bare finished fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:58.48) and sixth in the 500 free (5:20.29) while junior Makenna Pritchard placed eighth in the 50 free (25.52) and seventh in the 100 free (56.63).

  • Pre-State TSN Shawnee County high school boys track & field honor roll

    Rick Peterson



    NOTE: Top.Sports.news compiles a weekly track and field honor roll for Shawnee County high schools throughout the 2022 season. Coaches are asked to email updated times and marks or any corrections to Rick Peterson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Coaches should designate whether times were fully automatic (FAT) or hand-timed. FAT times for individual sprints are considered .024 of a second faster than hand times. TopSports.news will rank the Top 5 in each event.


    100 METERS

    Smith, Shawnee Heights              9.8 (10.27)

    January, Shawnee Heights           10.5

    Reed, Highland Park                    10.5

    Richardson, Highland Park           10.5

    Peoples, Topeka High                   10.6

    200 METERS

    Richardson, Highland Park           21.77 (21.6)

    Smith, Shawnee Heights               21.82

    January, Shawnee Heights           22.26

    Renfro, Silver Lake                       22.40

    Schrickel, Hayden                         22.72

    400 METERS

    Richardson, Highland Park           50.54

    Schrickel, Hayden                         51.05

    Blankenship, Topeka High            51.84

    Renfro, Silver Lake                       52.11

    Wilkerson, Topeka West               52.58

    800 METERS

    Newkirk, Hayden                          1:55.69

    B. Moore, Seaman                       2:00.72

    Esquibel, Shawnee Heights         2:03.14

    Wilson, Topeka West                   2:03.17

    Njoroge, Topeka West                  2:04.19

  • Pre-State TSN Shawnee County high school girls track & field honor roll

    Rick Peterson




    100 METERS

    Nichols, Shawnee Heights         12.33 (12.2)

    Reed, Highand Park                   12.35

    Brooks, Topeka West                  12.60

    Hillebert, Hayden                         12.96

    Rezac, Rossville                         12.96

    200 METERS

    Nichols, Shawnee Heights          25.78

    Rottinghaus, Shawnee Heights   25.90

    Reed, Highland Park                   26.22

    Brooks, Topeka West                   26.29

    Rezac, Rossville                          26.79

    400 METERS

    Rottinghaus, Shawnee Heights    58.18

    Reed, Highland Park                    58.22

    Foster, Rossville                           61.03

    Hillebert, Hayden                          61.78

    Fredrickson, Washburn Rural       62.08

    FPUC1MSXoAY xMSSeaman junior Bethany Druse is the Shawnee County leader in the girls 800 and 1,600 meters. [File photo/TSN]

    800 METERS

    Druse, Seaman                             2:15.19

    Carter, Washburn Rural                2:29.28

    Bird, Washburn Rural                   2:30.33

    Ismert, Washburn Rural                2:30.47

    Fink, Washburn Rural                   2:31.86

  • House of champions: Topeka's Alonzo brothers on a hot streak

    Rick Peterson



    It's been a good couple of weeks for Topeka's golfing Alonzo brothers.

    Former Topeka West star Addison Alonzo celebrated a second straight national team championship with Hutchinson Community College on May 13 and got back to Topeka just in time to cheer on younger brother Myles, a West sophomore, who captured a Class 5A individual regional title last Monday at Lake Shawnee.

    FTYFEa XEAAeN0uAddison Alonzo (left) recently won a second straight national golf championship with Hutchinson Community College while his younger brother, Myles, is coming off a Class 5A regional championship for Topeka West. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    "I am very proud,'' Addison said. "Two brothers, two champions. It's just really hard to find words.''

    Addison Alonzo carved out an impressive high school career for Richard Mariani's Chargers and Myles is picking up where his older brother left off.

    As a freshman Myles was the individual runner-up in the Centennial League tournament and placed third in the city tournament and third at regionals, earning TopSports.news All-Shawnee County first-team recognition.

    This spring he posted a tie for fifth in the Centennial League and was seventh in the city meet before winning his regional title in dramatic fashion.

    Alonzo three-putted on his final hole of regulation to end up tied with Shawnee Heights standout Alex Valdivia for medalist honors with a 76.

    "I should have chipped that putt (on his 18th hole), Myles said. "I had a lot more fringe in front of me and I hit it and it bounced it off the line and it just started rolling off and I was like, 'Oh no.' ''

    But Myles was able to shake off that disappointment and holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to take the win.

    "You just have to focus on your shot only,'' Alonzo said. "Don't remember anything and just grind out your own score.''

    Addison, meanwhile, is still basking in the glow of Hutchinson's title repeat and ended the 72-hole event with his best round off the tournament, a 2-under-par 70 as the Blue Dragons rolled to a 20-stroke victory in the team race at Odessa (Texas) Country Club.

    "We won by 20 shots, it was pretty amazing,'' Addison said. "It's still crazy, even a few days later.''

    Now Addison, who finished as high as fourth at state for the Chargers before having his senior season wiped out by COVID-19, will be rooting for Myles to earn family bratting rights of his own Monday and Tuesday in the 5A state meet at Winfield's Quail Ridge Golf Course.

  • Fink, distance corps pace Rural girls in 6A track and field regional

    Rick Peterson



    The home stretch was a home run for Washburn Rural freshman distance standout Payton Fink in Thursday's Class 6A track and field regional at Hummer Sports Park.

    Fink rallied from behind in both the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters to edge teammates Rylee Ismert and Madeline Carter as the Junior Blues went 1-2 in both events on the way to a second-place team finish.

    FTM uFsWUAIEaF9Washburn Rural freshman Payton Fink (1) runs alongside teammate Rylee Ismert (3) in the girls 1,600-meter run in Thursday's Class 6A regional. Fink and Ismert finished one-two in a close finish. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Fink finished with a flourish in the 1,600 to win the race in a time of 5 minutes, 35.01 seconds, while Ismert was second in 5:35.02 in a photo finish.

    Later in the evening Fink used the same formula to double up in the 3,200 in 11:45.98 while Carter was a strong second in 11:47.01.

    "It was a race strategy,'' Fink said with a chuckle. "I think sometimes at the finish it's kind of easier to see your competition (from behind) and drive for that.

    "I feel like you just have to go and not think about how much you have left and just let your body take you.''

    Fink thought she won the 1,600, one of the closest races of the regional meet, but wasn't 100 percent sure until she found out the final results.

    "Barely,'' Fink said. "I didn't know for sure and she's my teammate, she's awesome. My goal was just to qualify and then do what I can at state.''

    Fink, Ismert and Carter also helped Washburn Rural quality in the 4 x 800 relay for the May 27-28 state meet in Wichita, teaming with Khloi Bird to post a second-place finish in that race in 10:01.22.

    Bird also qualified in the 800 meters with a fourth-place finish in 2:31.30.

    "I'm excited (for state),'' Fink said. "I just want to try and get a PR (personal record) and maybe a medal.''

    Washburn Rural qualified for state in six events overall, with sophomore Raegen Petersen adding a third regional championship for the Junior Blues with a win in the discus at 120 feet, 9 inches.

    Petersen also finished fourth in the javelin (101-60, while Rural teammate Ashley Fitzhugh was third at 102-10.