TOPEKA (KSNT)- The 17th Annual Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards/Hall of Fame Ceremony was held at Washburn University’s student union on Wednesday.
Three Topeka sports legends were inducted into the Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame. Aaron Crow, Kaylee Manns and Dani McHenry Schmidt are the three newest inductees.
Crow is a Washburn Rural graduate who went to play baseball at The University of Missouri, and played professionally in the MLB. Manns also went to Washburn Rural. She played volleyball there before playing in college at Iowa State, and also embarking on a professional journey. McHenry Schmidt played volleyball at Shawnee Heights before going to KU, and later Washburn for college athletics. McHenry also played professional volleyball.
“Obviously, Shawnee county has good sports, good history with sports,” McHenry Schmidt said. “Being named into that elite group that’s played here is really an honor and to remember some of the things you did back in high school and know that the hard work paid off, it’s really fun.”
As for high school sports, awards were given to top athletes from fall, winter and spring sports. Additionally, an award for most outstanding male and female athlete was given.
Topeka High’s Nija Canady won Most Outstanding Female Athlete. Canady helped lead the Lady Trojans to their second-straight state softball title. Tanner Newkirk won Most Outstanding Male Athlete. Newkirk won three 4A state titles at the state track meet.
For fall sports, Seaman’s Grace Unruh was given the female athlete award, while Rossville football’s Torrey Horak won the male award.
“It’s really cool to be in the same room as guys that are first-team all-state, first-team all-league or winning player of the year awards,” Horak said. “To have a room full of people like that, it’s a pretty cool thing.”
Winter sports awards went to Washburn Rural girls’ basketball’s Emma Krueger and Topeka West’s Elijah Brooks. Spring awards went to the same two who won the Most Outstanding Athlete awards, Newkirk and Canady. Kadence Jeffries won co-female athlete for the spring awards with Canady.
“This means a lot,” Jeffries said. “Starting something in third grade, I would’ve never thought this is something I could accomplish.”
Most inspirational went to Shawnee Heights’ Taryn Dial and Rossville’s Corey Catron. The event also recognized Rene Poort and Randy Gregg for their service in officiating for sports in the state of Kansas.