It’s funny what a little success will do.
It’s become standard for Tanya Friesen, the Buhler product who has gone on to star for Wichita State’s women’s track and field team.
And it’s sort of a new phenomenon for the Hutchinson High girls swim team with a pair of freshman – Madelyn Fee and Meghan Morey – leading the charge.
But in both cases, success has re-energized their efforts.
Friesen, who was twice a Kansas Class 4A state champion in the long jump (2008 and 2009) and triple jump (2007 and 2009), is enjoying a stellar senior year. She helped the WSU women win the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships by taking first in the pentathlon.
The fourth-year Shocker has continued to excel during the outdoor season. Friesen was named the MVC’s Field Athlete of the Week on April 16 following her amazing heptathlon at the John McDonnell Combined Events at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.
She set personal bests in five of the seven events and broke WSU’s heptathlon record.
Going into her final home meet on Friday and Saturday (the Track-It Buster Invitational at Cessna Stadium), Friesen said she looked back on her career and realized how it’s kept her striving for more.
“I feel like – going into indoor and outdoor – I set goals before the year even started,” Friesen said. “I felt the need to set even higher goals because I had more success than I ever imagined.”
For the Salthawk girls, they are enjoying more success than coach Rene’ Sullivan usually sees from her team at this stage in the season. Just past the midway point, Hutch High already has its three relays (the 400-yard freestyle, 200 freestyle and 200 medley) and Fee’s 200 individual medley at the 6A consideration level with a handful of other events threatening to meet those benchmarks.
In her fourth-season at the helm, Sullivan said the cohesion of this unity exceeds her past teams and credits that and their positive attitude for the results they’re getting in the pool.
“They get along really, really well. It’s a team,” coach Rene’ Sullivan said. “There isn’t anyone that – I have not seen – anyone jealous of anyone else. It’s just everybody supporting everybody to make consideration times or automatic times for state.”
Read more on Friesen and the HHS swimmers in a pair of separate pieces I’m working on for Monday’s edition of The Hutchinson News.
-Lucas Fahrer, Fahrer Side
Check out more of Lucas’ work here.