Journal-World 2021 All-Area girls track team

photo by: File

Free State sophomore Aubrey Duncan (left) was named all-area girls track athlete of the year, while Eudora's Joe Pickett (right) was named coach of the year.

Athlete of the year: Aubrey Duncan, Free State

In her first season competing in track, Duncan was the only female athlete in the Lawrence area to earn an individual state title. She ended her sophomore season by winning the 6A girls javelin competition with a school-record throw of 142-10, and she was consistently a top performer at meets before that.

Coach of the year: Joe Pickett, Eudora

Pickett’s Cardinals were at their best in the postseason, winning a regional title and finishing third at the Class 4A state track and field meet. Eudora’s female athletes placed in 15 events in Wichita.

First team

photo by: Shane Jackson

Lawrence High senior Amaya Harris throws a javelin during the state track meet on Thursday at Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University in Wichita on May 27, 2021.

Amaya Harris, Lawrence — This spring was Harris’ third season of high school track and field — and also her third appearance at the state meet. She’s earned state berths in both javelin and the 4×100-meter relay every year, and she placed every time in javelin, including a third-place finish this season with a throw of 133-01.

Anna Johnson, Bishop Seabury — Johnson competed in four events for the Seahawks and had two runner-up finishes over the course of the season. She made noticeable improvements in the 100-meter run and 200-meter run, shaving 2.07 seconds off her time in the latter race over the course of the season. She also competed in long jump and was a member of the 4×100-meter relay team.

photo by: Shane Jackson

Lawrence High senior Bella Kirkwood leaps for the sand in the long jump competition during the state track meet on Thursday at Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University in Wichita on May 27, 2021.

Bella Kirkwood, Lawrence — In her final season, Kirkwood took second in the Class 6A long jump with a leap of 17-09.00 — the eighth time that she’d earned a medal in her three trips to the state meet. Kirkwood was also this year’s recipient of the Merlin Gish Scholarship, which is awarded to a Sunflower League athlete who excels both on the field and in the classroom.

photo by: Contributed

Diana Messick, Baldwin

Diana Messick, Baldwin — Messick’s strong performance helped Baldwin win a state title in the Class 4A 4×800-meter relay. Messick was the second leg, and she gave the Bulldogs a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. She also placed fifth in the 800-meter run at state after finishing as runner-up in that race at regionals.

photo by: Shane Jackson

Eudora freshman Sydney Owens competes in the 3,200-meter run during the state track meet on Friday at Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University in Wichita on May 28, 2021.

Sydney Owens, Eudora — In her freshman season, Owens placed in four events at the state meet. She finished third in the 3,200-meter run, fourth in the 1,600-meter run and eighth in the 800-meter run, and she was also on the runner-up 4×800-meter relay team. She also was a regional champion in both the 1-mile and 2-mile runs and won a league crown in the 3,200-meter run.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Kassidy Schumann, Perry-Lecompton

Kassidy Schumann, Perry-Lecompton — Schumann finished her track career by earning some hardware at both the Big Seven League meet and the regional meet. As an individual, she finished fifth in the 800 at league and took eighth at regionals. She was also on the state-qualifying 4×800-meter relay squad and the 4×400-meter relay team.

photo by: Shane Jackson

Lawrence High’s Brenna Schwada finishes out the 200-meter run during the LHS quadrangular Friday afternoon on April 2, 2021.

Brenna Schwada, Lawrence — In her junior campaign, Schwada qualified for the state meet in three events (long jump, 4×100 and 4×400) and earned two medals at state. She finished fourth in long jump and was the anchor of the 4×400-meter relay team that placed sixth.

photo by: Contributed

Natalee Shepard, Tonganoxie

Natalee Shepard, Tonganoxie — Shepard took fifth in both the 100-meter run and the 200-meter run at the Class 4A state meet. She broke her own school record in the 200 prelims — and then broke it again in the finals with a mark of 26.32. She was also a key part of a 4×400-meter relay team that set a school record.

photo by: Contributed

Riley Smith, Baldwin

Riley Smith, Baldwin — Smith, who also played soccer this season, finished her junior season with three state medals. She took fifth in the 1,600-meter run at state after a runner-up finish in that event at regionals. Her best time in the mile was a 5:32.11. She was also the anchor of the state champion 4×800-meter relay squad and was on the 4×400-meter team that took fourth.

photo by: Shane Jackson

Eudora senior Chloe Thakker attempts to jump over the bar in the high jump competition during the state track meet on Friday at Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University in Wichita on May 28, 2021.

Chloe Thakker, Eudora — In just her second season competing in the event, Thakker was among the best high jumpers in Class 4A. She finished in a tie for second place at the state meet after winning the high jump competition at both regionals and the Frontier League meet. Thakker, who will high jump for Emporia State next year, set a school record in the event with a leap of 5-04.05.

photo by: Brittanie Rooney/Eudora High School

Stella Whalen, Eudora

Stella Whalen, Eudora — Whalen finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles at state and was a member of all three relay squads that made the podium. She was runner-up in the 300 hurdles at both league and regionals as well.

Honorable mention

Allyson Baker, Perry-Lecompton; Summer Hartzler, Bishop Seabury; Isabella Harvey, Baldwin; Reese Hulcher, Free State; Campbell Keller, Perry-Lecompton; Jewell Marsh, Baldwin; Hannah Motsinger, Bishop Seabury; Ambrynn Stewart, Baldwin; Samantha Whittlesey, Free State.


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