Archive for Saturday, July 22, 2000

Lonergan dominates

July 22, 2000


Former Iola High School standout Molly Lonergan picked up three gold medals in the Sunflower State Games track and field competition Friday in Baldwin.

Lonergan, the Class 4A state champion in the discus her junior and senior years at Iola, won the javelin with a throw of 125 feet, the shot put in 36-6 and the discus in 123-0.

Lonergan, who will attend the University of Kentucky on scholarship, is the Class 4A state record holder in the discus. Her heave of 159-3 is third best, regardless of class, in Kansas history.

"I did throw one over 150 in warmup," said Lonergan, not at peak form considering there were just two other competitors in her events. "I've been working out all summer. I wanted to see where I was before I go to college."

She's enthused about her Kentucky scholarship. The Iola native considered KU up until the time Gary Schwartz was told his contract would not be renewed.

"I'm excited about going to Kentucky. The coach there has turned out some All-Americans," Lonergan said. "It'll be a shock at first because I won't be the best, but it'll be a challenge, too."

Lonergan's older sister, Katie, was a KU women's basketball manager two years.

"If I had gone to KU, I probably would have tried to walk-on the basketball team," she said. "My sister was manager and I was a gym rat. I'd come and play and practice against the KU players. They killed me, but it was a challenge. I think it helped me a lot, watching how they played.

"It was always my dream to play basketball at KU. As I got older, I realized it would not be an opportunity."

Yet Lonergan was second-team all-Class 4A last season in hoops.

"Now I'll try to be intramural queen," she joked. "I'll still follow KU. I'll still have KU on my license plates."

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