A look back at GCHS’ spring 2024 sports’ season  (2024)

Summer moratorium ends after one week

The dog days of summer, with alternative days of thunderstorms, some cooler days and then sweltering heat are right in the middle of the 2024 calendar.

July enters is second week and some fall sports teams’ will resume workouts after the one week break imposed by the Kansas State HIgh School Activities Association that lasted from June 30 to July 7.

Garden City High School’s busy June of camps, clinics, daily workouts provided Buffalo coaches the opportunity to see the prospects for the fall 2024 season which will begin in late August.

In the meantime, a look back at the spring 2024 sports season provides a snapshot of Buffalo athletics.

Newly-hired Athletics/Activities Director Matt Bayer will have a busy July and early August in preparing to work with his complement of head and assistant coaches with the coming 2024-25 school year.

Highlighting the spring season for the Buffaloes was junior Maddix Shook capturing the Class 6A boys’ state golf championship at Buffalo Dunes in the third week of May.

Shook held off the best players in Kansas’ largest classification to shoot scores of 70-69—139 to finish 5-under-par for the 36-hole championship that was played on his home course. He becomes the third male golfer to claim the title, following in the footsteps of Cole Wasinger (1995) and two-time champion Sion Audrain (2017, 2019).

In his third high school season, Shook also claimed the Western Athletic Conference Golfer of the Year honor after finishing second as a sophom*ore. Buffs’ freshman Jalen Jagels was a second team all-WAC selection.

Two female athletes captured their respective sports’ athlete of the year as junior Riley Sekavec earned that honor in girls’ swimming as she helped the Lady Aqua Buffs to a WAC title. Sekavec captured two individual titles (500-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke) while also swimming on two winning relay teams. Coach Jennifer Meng earned WAC Coach of the Year laurels.

A look back at GCHS’ spring 2024 sports’ season (1)

Other girls’ all-conference swimmers were Brylee West in the 200-yard freestyle, the 200-yard medley relay team of Claire Heiman, West, Sekavec and Lexi Arwine (the lone senior), and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Livi Meng, Arwine, Sekavec and West. That freestyle group placed 16th at the Class 6A state championships.

In girls’ track and field, it was junior Hailey Brown who garnered the top honors as she compiled the most points at the WAC championship to earn Athlete of the Year.

Brown captured three WAC titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as the triple jump while placing third in the long jump. She would eventually place in the Class 6A state by taking seventh in the triple jump.

A look back at GCHS’ spring 2024 sports’ season (2)

On the boys’ side of track and field, the 4×800-meter relay team of Taran Castro, Kailyn Munoz, Hayden Nemechek and Trevor Fry established a new school record with a time of 8:00.21 by placing second in the State 6A meet. Senior Ivan Rivas was an all-WAC selection by winning the pole vault at the conference meet.

Girls’ soccer continued its recent success with a runner-up finish in the WAC and then advanced to the Class 6A state quarterfinals for the third consecutive year. This time, it was the Maize Lady Eagles who ended the Lady Buffs’ postseason run.

Seniors Ariel Martinez, Wendy Zamudio and Alessandra Tova were chosen to the first team all-WAC unit while juniors Isabel Espino and Aniya Merjil earned second team honors.

A look back at GCHS’ spring 2024 sports’ season (3)

Despite not winning a WAC game, the Buffs’ baseball team earned one first team selection in sophom*ore Culden Plankenhorn, who caught and played third base and was one of the top hitters in the WAC. Junior Ethan Gomez (infield) and senior Chase McGraw (pitcher/shortstop) garnered second team selections.

In softball, Coach Trina Mai’s youthful squad finished with an even .500 record in the WAC (6-6), sweeping rival Dodge City and Liberal but coming up short against the top two teams in the conference in Hays and Great Bend. Juniors Piper Harris (infielder, repeat) and Kyleigh Whitehurst (pitcher) were named to the first team while freshman Yasmin Angeles (outfield) was on the second team.

Boys’ tennis tied for second in the WAC, seeing an end to a half-decade of dominance. None of the four division went to the Buffs as Coach Logan Bevis had one of his most inexperienced varsity squads since taking over the program.

The WAC Champions Cup, which awards points to each varsity sport (22 of them) saw the Buffs’ 11-year reign as champions come to an end. Hays won its first Champions Cup with 174 total points (points awarded on a 12-8-6-4 basis) while the Buffs finished second with 155. Dodge City was third with 132, Great Bend fourth at 126 and Liberal fifth with 73. It was the most competitive school year for the Cup as four schools scored more than 126 points.

A look back at GCHS’ spring 2024 sports’ season  (2024)
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