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At the Mike
Superman headed to World Championships; qualifies for 2016 Olympics
At the Mike - photo by AP Photo

The accomplishments just keep coming.

With his silver medal leap at the Pan Am Games, Leevan Sands earned himself a spot in the World Championships in Beijing. Sands needed to jump 55-5.5 to earn a spot at the World Championships. He jumped 55-9.

That mark also qualifies him for the 2016 Olympics. So, barring another setback of some sort, Sands will jump in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year. That would be his fourth – tied for the most triple jumps events anyone has ever competed in at the Olympics.

The World Championships will take place August 22-30 at the Bird’s Nest in China. The triple jump will be Aug. 26-27.

Superman, as he is known, is one of the nicest kids to come through Barton. I came to Barton prior to his sophomore year. Leevan is full of life and optimism. Always fun to talk to and very respectful. I enjoy when he accomplishes the things he sets out to do.

He tore his patella tendon completely off his right knee on his fourth jump at the 2012 Olympics. That would be his jumping knee. He was sitting in fourth place at the time and was looking for his second consecutive Olympic medal. He would end in fifth place after missing the final two jumps.

At that point most thought his career was over.

His recovery has been a long, hard road but he is on his way – probably ahead of where most thought he would be. He took all of 2013 off. He only long jumped during the 2014 season then started triple jumping again this summer.

His goal was to make the Pan Am Games. He did that and then some with the big leap in Toronto Friday.

Congratulations to former Cougar Roger Ward and his Great Bend Chiefs AAA Legion baseball team. The Chiefs went into their Zone Tournament as the No. 4 seed out of four teams and came away with the title and a trip to the AAA State Legion Tournament in McPherson.

Ward and his Chiefs have played a tough schedule to about a .500 record heading into the Zone tournament. It appeared all summer they were just a game or two from breaking into a prolonged hot streak. Perhaps the Zone tournament was the beginning of that streak.

The tournament got underway last night and hopefully the Chiefs will still be playing when it concludes on Sunday.

Many of you heard the Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team got itself in some trouble recently.

The NJCAA informed the school that a pair of players received grants-in-aid from the College that was in excess of the amounts permitted by the NJCAA.

The penalties handed down were stiff. The Blue Dragons will have their scholarships reduced from 15 to 11 for the upcoming year and then to 13 the following year. Hutchinson would be banned from post-season next season as well.

Per the Jayhawk Conference, Hutchinson, which went 37-1 last season and lost in the NJCAA title game, would have to forfeit all its wins from last season as well.

Hutch does plan on appealing the ruling.

I am not sure what exactly happened but rumblings are some room and board were allegedly taken care of in some form. Whether this is true or not, perhaps it is time for the Jayhawk Conference to take a look at its rules.

The conference is one of very few in the NJCAA that does not allow for full scholarships. It puts the teams in the conference at a disadvantage with the rest of the nation.

Why would a top level junior college recruit come to Kansas to play basketball during cold winters when they also have to pay their own room and board when they could get a full-ride in Texas or Florida for example?

It is amazing that the colleges in the state compete nationally as well as they do.

The topic has been talked about for several years. Now that more and more teams are starting to play at the Division II level in the Jayhawk, maybe it is time to split the conference. Have one division for teams who want to play Division I and give them full rides if they choose. The teams that want to play Division II can continue to play with the current set of rules.

Anyway, just my two cents worth. And that doesn’t even get you a piece of bubble gum any more.

Enjoy August, hopefully it will cool off.