Cheney students honored with spirit award

Maddy Amsink and Julie Bachard, members of the Cheney High School cross country team, have been selected to receive the KSHSAA Spirit of Sport Award for their selfless act at the regional meet in October 2018.
The award recognizes the values inherent in high school sports beyond winning and losing, according to representatives of the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
All member high schools were invited to submit the name of an individual, coach or team demonstrating such qualities. Six Kansas high schools submitted nominations, including Cheney.
At the 3A regional cross country meet at Lake Afton on Oct. 20, Julissa Rodriguez, a student athlete from Holcomb High School, went down during the girls race. Amsink and Bachard were close behind and stopped to assist the competitor. Amsink stayed with Rodriguez, while Bachard went to get help. After help arrived and Rodriguez was able to stand, the three girls linked arms for support and continued on the course all the way to the Holcomb team tent.
It was an act of character but also an act of sacrifice because, by rule, the act meant the two Cheney Cardinals had lost their chance to medal and qualify for the 3A State meet. Essentially, the Cheney girls put a competitor’s needs before their own, officials noted.
Regional cross country manager Tyler Fraizer informed KSHSAA about the actions of Amsink and Bachard. It was Fraizer who received a radio call that a girl was down at the far end of the course.
Jason Johnson, Holcomb High School principal, verified the following week that the girl began “not feeling well” and “blacked out.” When she regained consciousness, the Cheney athletes were kneeling beside her, administering care. The principals of the two respective schools spoke on the phone, and Johnson indicated he would like to send T-shirts with #HornsUp (Horns is the Holcomb High School mascot) for the girls, commending them for their character.
“We are very proud of them and not surprised at their action. Empathy is one of the five core values at Cheney High School, and we were glad they were able to demonstrate empathy that day,” said Cheney High principal Greg Rosenhagen.
As the state honorees, Amsink and Bachard will receive a plaque to be displayed at the school. The presentation of the plaque will take place at a KSHSAA tournament or local event to be determined.
The National Federation initiated the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award in 2008. The NFHS will announce a national honoree at its annual summer meeting in early July.