TOP MOMENT OF 2017: Distance Runners Steal the Year

Distance running dominated the top moments in Kansas track and field and cross country in 2017, based on recent voting by MileSplit readers.

Voters overwhelmingly selected the quadruple crown won by Bennington's Halle Johnson as the top accomplishment of the year. Johnson, a senior headed to Wichita State next Fall, won the class 2A 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs at the state track and field championships in May, then followed it up by dominating the cross country state meet in October.

She is an overwhelming favorite to defend her three track titles this spring.

Kyler True of Olpe, now a freshman at Oklahoma State University, won the class 1A 1600 meter state title in an all-class record time of 4:07.17, bringing the state meet crowd to its feet. The win was voted as the No. 2 moment of 2017 by Kansas MileSplit readers.

The No. 3 moment of the year was turned in by distance runners Cailie Logue of Girard, Molly Born of Shawnee Mission Northwest and Emily Venters of Lawrence Free State.

The trio challenged the national leaders' lists twice in a two week period. At the Kansas Relays, all three broke the meet record in the 3200 meters, Logue winning in 10:09.97, Born second in 10:10.64, and Venters third at 10:16.61. At the Shawnee Mission North Invitational two weeks later, Logue won the 1600 with the best time in the U.S. at that point, 4:45.00, while Born was second at 4:48.87 and Venters third in 4:49.36. At the time, all three times ranked in the top ten in the U.S.

Logue and Venters went on to remarkable freshman college seasons. Logue was fourth in the Big 12 championships, leading Iowa State to conference and regional titles, while Venters placed 52nd at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, helping Boise State to a sixth place finish.

Shortly after the Shawnee Mission North meet, Born learned she had a stress fracture in her foot, costing her the rest of the 2017 track and field season, and later, the 2017 cross country season too. She is expected back this spring to finish her senior year.

The other top moments voted on by Kansas MileSplit readers, in the order that they received votes, include: