Athletes nominated for Wichita Sports Banquet awards

Clearwater High graduate Collin Ellis

Several local athletes have been nominated for awards to be presented at the 20th annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.

The banquet is put on by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission and honors south central Kansas athletes for outstanding performance.

Finalists include Haley Albers of Cheney, Collin Ellis of Clearwater, Matt Pile of Eisenhower, Brynn Minor of Wichita and Hunter Veith of Wichita State.

Albers is nominated for the Lynette Woodard High School Female Athlete award. Albers helped the Cheney Cardinals volleyball team to the State tournament, anchored the basketball team that played in the 3A State championship, and at the State track and field meet took fifth in 3A discus, helping the Cheney girls to a fourth-place team finish.

Ellis and Pile are two of the three candidates for the Barry Sanders High School Male Athlete award.

Ellis is a multi-sport athlete who competed in football, basketball and track. At last month’s State track meet, Ellis won the Class 4A title in javelin.

Pile led the Eisenhower Tigers basketball team to a third-place finish at the 2017 5A State tournament, which included the Tigers’ first State tournament victory in school history. The Tigers were ranked No. 1 for much of the season and finished the season 22-2. In track, Pile won the 5A State javelin with a personal-best throw of 199-11. That distance put him in the top 20 nationally.

Minor, a graduate of Eisenhower High School, helped the Butler Grizzlies to their second consecutive NJCAA Division I national championship in softball, the first back-to-back titles by any team in 25 years. Minor hit three home runs and drove in seven runs in an 11-7 win over Salt Lake Community College in the championship game. Minor, a pitcher and outfielder, was one of three Grizzlies named to the Division I All-American first team, announced last week. She led Butler this season in several offensive categories, and set single-season record in batting average and home runs.

Veith, a member of the Wichita State Shockers track and field team and a graduate of Cheney High School, placed sixth in the decathlon at the NCAA Division I outdoor track and field meet in Eugene, Ore. He earned first-team All-American honors and broke the Shocker record in the event with 7,866 points. He came into the event with the 15th-best decathlon point total in the NCAA. He was a second-team All-American earlier this year after taking ninth in the indoor heptathlon at the NCAA indoor championship.

Eisenhower High graduate Matt Pile
Wichita State track standout Hunter Veith
Cheney High graduate Haley Albers
Butler Grizzlies pitcher Brynn Minor