Varsity Kansas has introduced a new series, Moment of the Year. The series will highlight the top moment or performance from the 2017-18 high school sports season for each of the Wichita-area schools. First up, the Andale Indians:
Andale has developed a reputation as a city of athletes, and that was fully on display at Cessna Stadium.
The Indians brought home their second straight girls track and field state championship, holding off Paola by 16 points.
Andale had three wins, seven in the top five and 11 in the top 10. The Indians' power came out in the relays.
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Ellee and Kasidee Eck, Shelby Cox and Abby Smarsh crushed the 4x400 by 2.11 seconds over Andover Central for the title. But there was no more drama than in the 4x100.
McKenna Gray, Kasidee Eck and Smarsh put in three solid legs, keeping Andale at the top. Ellee Eck was going to have to beat out Concordia's Emma Wahlmeier in the final 100 meters.
Eck crossed the line just two hundredths ahead for the title. Only one other 4A girls race had a tighter finish.
Andale's other title came in the 300-meter hurdles.
Smarsh won her second straight title in the event with a 44.73-second sprint. She beat out Louisburg's Carlee Gassman by almost a full second.
Smarsh is the daughter of Andale coach Greg Smarsh, so after the Indians clinched the team title, they shared a special moment with hugs and photos. It was Smarsh's last day in an Andale track shirt as she is committed to Wichita State.
Other top results: Abby Smarsh, 100-meter hurdles, third-place finish, 15.02 seconds; Jaden Eck, pole vault, fifth-place finish, 11 feet; Madison Lies, triple jump, third-place finish, 36-3.00; Katy Commons, shot put, second-place finish, 39-5.00; Jacy Anderson, discus, second-place finish, 124-11; Katelyn Fairchild, javelin, fourth-place finish, 139-8; Katy Commons, javelin, fifth-place finish, 136-11
Other key moments
- Andale football team reaches Class 4A-Division I state championship game in Dylan Schmidt's first year as coach. Indians finished season 12-1 with 47-7 loss to Bishop Miege in title game.
- Andale girls basketball team comes runner-up in Class 4A-Division II tournament. Boys finish third.
- Indians finish third at Class 4A boys golf state tournament a year after the team failed to qualify. It was Irv Schueller's first year as coach.
- Indians take second at the 4A girls golf state tournament, just eight strokes behind Topeka Hayden for the title. Sophomore Morgan Brasser finishes runner-up in the individual standings. Junior Jacey Anderson takes fifth.
- Andale softball team wins home regional tournament with 4-1 win over Rose Hill in the final. Indians qualify for state tournament for the third time in four seasons.