Sport Shorts: Oct.19
MUSTANGS’ TYRELL IS YOUNG STAR
Blue Valley North sophomore golfer Jean Tyrell may not be able to drive a car yet, but she is definitely driving well for the Mustangs girls golf team.
She won the individual title at the Blue Valley Cup in early September with a round of 74 at the Ironhorse Golf Club. The round included her first hole-in-one. The hole-in-one came on the par three 12th hole.
“She is a fine golfer,” first-year coach Lisa Holton says. “She has a natural ability, but she also likes to work at her game. She sets very high standards for herself.”
Tyrell started playing golf at the age of five.
“At one time, both of my parents played but it was because of my mom that I grew to love the game,” she says. “I just started playing competitively last year (freshman year at Blue Valley North).”
Tyrell helped the Mustangs win their second 6A state championship last fall. She placed ninth with a round of 90.
Her goal for this year?
“I want to help my team to a state championship again as well as win the individual title,” she says.
The 6A state tournament will be Oct. 15 in Wichita, Kan.
A 4.1 GPA student, she played junior varsity/varsity basketball last year and plans to play again this winter.
MCNUTT GIVES UP LACROSSE
Blue Valley West sophomore distance runner Stuart McNutt was a lacrosse player in his younger days at Prairie Star Middle School.
“In seventh grade, I played lacrosse in a position that required me to run and I wanted to improve my endurance,” he says. “My (younger) sister Megan was running cross country so I joined her in a few practices. The program worked and by eighth grade I was consistently running and competing competitively. I had some success early and realized that if I would put focus on training that I could compete at a high level.”
Prairie Star MS feeds into Blue Valley, but McNutt decided to attend BV West because the school had a club lacrosse program and Blue Valley didn’t. Going into high school lacrosse was his first love.
McNutt had a lot of success during his freshman year of cross-country, placing 19th at the Class 6A state meet.
Until the ninth grade, he didn’t realize how good a runner he was. He was faced with a decision between going out for track in spring or lacrosse.
“It was a tough decision to give up lacrosse,” he says.
His best 3,200-meter time his freshman year was 9:43 and he placed third in the two-mile at the New Balance Nationals in North Carolina.
This fall he was the champion of a cross-country meet in Wichita and placed third at the Missouri Southern Stampede. The meet had a field of 43 schools from several states.
His goal is simple for this cross-country season.
“I want to focus on improving my time each and every week and to improve on my 19th place finish at state last year,” he says. “I am not afraid to take risks during a race. I prepare both mentally and physically for each race. Then it comes down to heart and guts.”
This year sister Megan is a freshman cross-country runner for the Jaguars.
ONE NEW COACH
According to information from area athletic directors, there will be one new head coach in the winter sports.
That will be Mill Valley assistant coach Kale Mann taking over as head wrestling coach at Blue Valley.
BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST SOPHOMORE IS VETERAN RUNNER
Hannah Holbert may only be a sophomore at Blue Valley Northwest, but she has been running distance races for a number of years.
“I started distance running when I was 7 years old on a club AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) track team,” she says. “My parents enrolled me because they noticed whenever I would go out with my three older brothers I loved to run around the track over and over without stopping.”
The sophomore cross country and track distance runner did well in her freshman year for the Huskies.
Holbert placed ninth at the Class 6A state cross country and placed fourth in the 3,200-meters at the 6A state track meet.
“I learned during my freshman year how valuable a cross country team can be to an individual runner,” she says. “They are always there to motivate me and challenge me every day in practice to reach my best. My team is always there for me in both disappointments and successes.”
What are Holbert’s goals for her sophomore year?
“Of course my goal is always to win, but that can seem unrealistic,” she says. “My attainable goal would be to place in the top three at state cross country and in the 3,200-meters in track.”
Holbert gives her brothers credit for her success.
“I got my competitive drive from my three older brothers striving to be as competitive in my sports as they have been in theirs,” she says.
First-year cross country coach Matt LeCount says, “Hannah is a gifted young runner coming off a top 10 performance at state as a freshman. She continues to work hard in her training while assuming more of a leadership role on our squad this season.”
FORMER MUSTANG TURNS PRO
Blue Valley North graduate Callan Taylor is now a professional basketball player.
She recently signed a contract with Turun Riento in Turku, Finland. She started play in the top division team in Finland in early October.
Veteran BV North girls basketball coach Ann Fritz recalls Taylor.
“She's a great kid from a great family,” she says. “Callan was a team player who always played hard and did whatever she could to help lift the team. She’s a very humble person.”
Taylor played four years of college basketball at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. The school plays in the NCAA Division I Northeast Conference.
She was named the 2012 Northeast Conference Player of the Year and led the Pioneers to their third NEC Championship.
She is the first person in the school’s Division I history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career.
Academically she graduated with a degree in Exercise Science and was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team for the second year.
TOPS IN CROSS COUNTRY
Three Blue Valley cross country runners finished in the top 10 at the Rim Rock Farm Invitational meet in Lawrence in late September.
The meet attracted runners from Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.
Blue Valley senior Colton Donahue placed fourth with a 5,000-meter time of 15:29.9, while Blue Valley West sophomore Stuart McNutt was seventh in 15:43.8 and Blue Valley Northwest junior Sam Gunn in 10th at 15:49.0.
Donahue was the top Kansas finisher.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”
- Vince Lombardi