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  • Nominees set for 2023 TopSports.news' high school senior awards


    Shawnee County high schools have submitted their nominations for senior athletes for the 18th annual Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards, which will be presented on June 28 along with the induction of the 2023 Hall of Fame class.

    BrooklynDeleyecroppedWashburn Rural graduate and Kentucky signee Brooklyn DeLeye is a nominee for the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards after leading the Junior Blues to the Class 6A state volleyball title as a senior. [File photo/TSN]

    JoeOttingdefenseHayden graduate and Notre Dame signee Joe Otting (left) has been nominated for the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards. [File photo/TSN]

    TreRichardsonLJ2Recent Highland Park graduate Tre Richardson was a three-time state track and field champion for the Scots, including two state titles as a senior. [File photo/TSN]

    BrinleyDycheHaydenRossville senior Brinley Dyche is a candidate for the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards after helping lead the Bulldawgs to the Class 3A state softball title this spring. [File photo/TSN]

    TopSports.news, in conjunction with the University of Kansas Health Systems St Francis Campus, A-1 Lock and Key and Washburn University, will host the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the Washburn University Memorial Union.

    TopSports.news will present awards to the top female and male athletes in the fall, winter and spring seasons, as well as overall female and male athletes of the year and the most inspirational female and male. A complete list of nominees is listed below.

    To be eligible, an athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Athletes were nominated by their schools' athletic directors and coaches.

    In addition to the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, Grant Bruner and Jaycee Ginter will be honored as Washburn University Athletes of the Year and Chris Barnes, Kevin Bordewick, Crystal Kemp and Rick Peterson will be inducted as the 2023 Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame class.

    A  committee of local media members will select the 2023 high school winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year. 

    General admission tickets for the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet are $30 per person and include dinner.

    Ticket information is available at topsports.news.


  • Illinois State standout Pham earns first Jayhawk Open men's singles title

    Rick Peterson



    Former Shawnee Mission Northwest state tennis champ Nam Pham, now a standout at Ilinois State, is home for the summer and took advantage of that closeness in proximity to compete in the Jayhawk Open at Kossover Tennis Center.

    NamPhamJayhawk4Nam Pham reacts to his match-winning point in Saturday's Jayhawk Open singles final. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    NamPhamJayhawk5Former Class 6A state champ Nam Pham took a three-set win in the Jayhawk Open men's open singles final. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    "I'm staying at home so it's close, no hotel, and Ive been here plenty of times for high school events,'' Pham said. "Last year I went to work in another state but this time I came back. I think the director sent my mom an email and she was like, 'Hey, there's this tournament here and it's close to home.' I was, 'Alright, let's sign up, let's do this.' I listen to mom.''

    Pham, the top seed, made the short trip pay off with the men's open singles championship Sunday, taking a hard-earned 6-7 (4-7 tiebreaker), 6-1, 6-2 win over William Woods standout Zinovii Nahimiak, the No. 4 seed, in the tournament final.

    "My opponent played an incredible match,'' Pham said. "He was rocking me back and forth during the whole first set, but something I kept telling myself that my coach has told me, 'Just one more ball, lets see what happens.' Anything can happen during any point and you just have to keep going for every ball until the match is over so I just kept that in my head.''

  • Washburn set to compete Monday in NCAA Men's Golf Championship in Ohio

    Rick Peterson

    By Rick Peterson


    Washburn University men's golf will begin its eighth trip to the NCAA Men's Golf Championship on Monday at the Avalon Lakes Golf Course in Warren, Ohio.

    WUgolfteampic2Washburn's men's golf team will compete in the NCAA Men's Golf Championship Monday in Ohio after finishing fourth in the regional tournament. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    The three-round stroke play portion of the tournament will last until Wednesday before the field is cut.  

    The championship event will begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday as each competing team and the individual qualifiers will play three rounds of stroke play 

    The Ichabods will be represented by Cade Uhlenhake, Dawson Wills, Jack Baker, Kade Prentice and Max Ullan.

    There will be 20 total teams competing with a total of eight individuals, four from each regional tournament, for a total of 108 players 

    Following Wednesday's third round the championship field will be cut to eight teams for the medal-match play rounds.

    The quarterfinals will be played on Thursday morning, with the semifinals following on Thursday afternoon as the field will be cut to four 

  • Weems, Wilhoite set to host second annual Big Kev Give Back Camp on June 30

    Rick Peterson



    Local sports icons Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite will be back in Topeka June 30 to host the second annual Big Kev Give Back Camp, a one-of-a-kind dual basketball/football camp on fhe campus of Washburn University


    Both Weems and Wilhoite graduated from Highland Park and Wilhoite was a standout at Washburn and Weems at Missouri State before both players went on to long-time professional careers.

    Weems and Wilhoite, who were inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame in 2021, will be joined by many other special guests to host the camp, in conjunction with Washburn, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    The June 30 camp, open to athletes 9 through 17, is named in honor of Kyle's late father, Kevin, a former Washburn University basketball player, who had a big impact on the athletic careers of both Weems and Wilhoite.

    Athletes will have the option between all-day basketball or football camps or can split their time between half-day basketball and football camps. Athletes wishing to split their time between football and basketball are encouraged to attend the football camp in the morning session.

    The cost of the camp is $20 and athletes are encouraged to register online at www.wusports.com. Go to the list of Washburn Football Camps and scroll down to the Big Kev Give Back Camp. Those interested in attending the camp can also go to www.bkgiveback.com and click the signup link.

    The football portion of the camp will be held at Yager Stadium while the basketball camp will be held in Lee Arena.

  • New Rural softball coach Galliart an Oklahoma native with strong Kansas ties

    Rick Peterson



    Joy Marie Galliart, who will take the reins of the highly-successful Washburn Rural softball program in the 2023-2024 school year, was born and raised in Oklahoma, where she has also spent her entire high school softball coaching career.

    FvpiIAXWcAA fa2Joy Marie Galliart speaks to her future Washburn Rural softball team and Rural parents Monday at the school. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    But Galliart's ties to Kansas also run deep.

    Galliart played softball at Washburn University and graduated from WU with a bachelor’s degree in biology and while one of her daughters currently attends Washburn her other daughter is right down the road at Kanas State.

    "They are two of the big reasons why this job was appealing to me, so that I could come up here and be closer to them,'' said Galliart, who met her new team and Rural parents Monday night at Rural. "When they gave me their approval I was super excited about the possibility and I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue pretty heavily.''

    Galliart comes to Washburn Rural from Bixby High School in Bixby, Okla. after previously coaching at her alma mater, Bishop Kelley High in Tulsa, Okla.

    "I've been at Bixby the last 14 years, so I've been there for a long time and now here I am, ready to start another chapter in my teaching and coaching book, so to speak.''

  • Washburn baseball to host Northeastern State in MIAA Tournament opener

    Rick Peterson

    By Rick Peterson


    Washburn University baseball will host Northeastern State this weekend in an MIAA Tournament first round best-of-three series starting Friday at Falley Field.

    RanePfeiferMIAAWashburn pitcher Rane Pfeifer, a second-team All-MIAA pick, and the Ichabods will open MIAA Tournament play this weekend at Falley Field. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    The series opener is set for 5 p.m. Friday, with Game 2 scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. If necessary, the third game will be Sunday at 1 p.m.

    The Ichabods are the tournament's No. 3 seed and finished the regular season with a series win at Pittsburg State for an overall record of 29-20 and 21-12 in MIAA play.

    Washburn's 29 MIAA victories is its most conference wins since the 2016 season.

    The RiverHawks (21-25, 15-18) are the sixth seed and closed out the regular season winning four of their last five games.

    The two teams have already played a series in Topeka this season back on March 10-12, with the Ichabods winning the series, 2-1.

    Washburn was picked fifth in the 2023 MIAA Coaches Preseason Poll and the RiverHawks were selected third after going 38-18 (22-11 MIAA) last year.

  • Ichabods stay alive in MIAA softball tourney with 3-1 win over Tigers

    Rick Peterson

    By Rick Peterson


    The Washburn University softball team overcame multiple rain and lightning delays.to avoid elimination in the MIAA Tournament on Thursday at the Envista Softball Complex at Lake Shawne, posting a 3-1 win over Fort Hays State 

    DanielleSchlader1Danielle Schlader is congratulated by Washburn softball coach Brenda Holaday after hitting a two-run homer in Thursday's 3-1 MIAA Tournament win over Fort Hays State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    JayceeGinterFHSUJaycee Ginter came on in relief to pick up her 24th win of the season in Thursday's 3-1 MIAA Tournament win over Fort Hays State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Washburn (37-15) will play the loser of the Missouri Southern and Rogers State game at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

    The Ichabods never trailed against the Tigers.

    Washburn took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Marrit Mead reached on a single to start the game, stole second and came around to score on a throwing error by the Fort Hays State pitcher.

  • Topekans Fischer, Petefish help Jennies take 5-2 tourney win over WU

    Rick Peterson

    By Rick Peterson


    Wednesday was a triumphant return to Topeka for the Central Missouri sotball trio of Paige Peteish, Abbey Fischer and coach Susan (Punzo) Anderson as the fourth-seeded Jennies took a 5-2 first-round MIAA Tournament victory over fifth seed Washburn at the Envista Softball Complex at Lake Shawnee.

    AbbeyFischerWUFormer Shawnee Heights standout Abbey Fischer (7) is mobbed by her teammates after hitting a two-run home run in Central Missouri's 5-2 MIAA Tournament win over Washburn Wednesday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    PaigePetefishWUShawnee Heights prodduct Paige Petefish (left), being congratulated by teammate Jessica Sader, picked up a complete-game 5-2 pitching victory for Central Missouri against Washburn Wednesday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Petefish. Fischer and Anderson, who are all Shawnee Heights graduates, returned to a Lake Shawnee complex which is where the T-Birds play their home games, and Petefish and Fischer set the tone as the Jennies advanced to the winner's bracket semifinals.

    The Ichabods jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a home run by Shawnee Heights product Jaycee Ginter, a former teammate of Petefish and Fischer, in the Ichabods' first at bat and Washburn held the lead until the bottom of the third when Fischer hit a two-run home run to put UCM (33-19) up 2-1.

    MarritMeadCMUWashburn standout Marrit Mead connects on a home run in Wednesday's 5-2 MIAA Tournament loss Wednesday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The Jennies added a solo run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-1 advantage before WU's Marrit Mead connected on a home run to cut the UCM lead to 3-2.

  • WU's Ginter earns 1st-team All-MIAA softball honors; Mead 2nd-team pick

    Rick Peterson

    By Rick Peterson


    The Washburn Ichabod softball team had three players honored in five categories on the All-MIAA team announced Tuesday prior to Wednesday's start of the conference tournament at the Envista Softball Complex at Lake Shawnee in Topeka.

    JayceeGinterESUWashburn junior Jaycee Ginter has received first-team All-MIAA honors for the third straight season. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    MarritMeadWUMarrit Mead has earned All-MIAA second-team recognition for Washburn at third base. [File photo]

    The Ichabods had two MIAA Gold Glove winners as well as a first-team, second-team and honorable mention All-MIAA pick this season.

    The Ichabods will open the MIAA tournament at 3 p.m. Wednesday as the No. 5 seed when the Ichabods face No. 4 seed Central Missouri.

    Junior pitcher Jayce Ginter, a Shawnee Heights product, earned first-team All-MIAA honors as a pitcher after earning first-team all-MIAA honors as a freshman and sophomore as a pitcher/utility player.

    Ginter leads the MIAA in victories with 23 and is second in the league with a 1.68 ERA. Her 244 strikeouts are first in the league as are her games started (28), complete games (20) and innings pitched (203 2/3).

    Junior third basemen Marrit Mead was a second-team All-MIAA selection this season. She is third in the MIAA in hitting with a .409 batting average and her 67 hits is second this season. She is a perfect 27 of 27 in stolen base attempts.

    Mead is also second in the MIAA in runs scored with 50, seventh in doubles with 14 and seventh in on-base percentage at .478. Mead was a first-team All-MIAA pick her freshman and sophomore seasons as an Ichabod.

  • TSN to honor Bruner, Ginter as Washburn outstanding athletes for 2022-2023

    Rick Peterson



    TopSports.news will honor All-America football player Grant Bruner and All-America softball player Jaycee Ginter as Washburn University's outstanding male and female athletes for 2022-2023 at the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on June 28 at Washburn's Memorial Union.

    GrantBrunerMIAAcroppedGrant Bruner earned a pair of first-team NCAA D-II All-America awards as a senior for Washburn after leading the nation in tackles. [File photo/TSN]

    JayceeGinterESUWashburn junior Jaycee Ginter, a Shawnee Heights product, was a first-team All-American last season and has won 23 games this season. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Bruner, a native of Gretna, Neb., capped his Ichabod career with a monster season for 7-4 WU last fall, leading the nation in tackles and earning Associated Press Division II and Conference Commissioners Association first-team All-America honors.

    Shawnee Heights product Ginter, a junior, was a first-team Division II All-American and the MIAA Player of the Year in 2022 and ended the 2023 regular season on Saturday with a 23-8 pitching record and 1.69 earned run average for the 36-14 Ichabods.

    TopSports.news will honor outstanding Washburn athletes for the third time in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

    In 2022 Faith Rottinghaus and James Letcher Jr. were named Washburn outstanding female and male athletes of the year. 

    Washburn Athlete of the Year capsules: