The 23rd Annual Sunflower State Games came to a successful close Sunday, July 29. Athletes from Gardner and Spring Hill joined the 8,711 participants in the annual Olympic-style sports festival.
Prolific 77-year-old runner Deloyn Huffman, Gardner, competed in five track and field events taking first place in his age group in the 1500 meter run and the 3000 meter run. He took second in three sprinting events.
Local athletes also participated in the pole vault. Abigail Buie, 14 of Gardner, earned a second place finish for her 9-foot vault. Karli Smith, 14 of from Spring Hill, also competed in the girls 13-14 pole vault.
Conner McGuire, 15 of Gardner, brought home a first place medal for the boys 15-16 pole vault. He vaulted 12-feet-6-inches to secure the win. Kyle Stubler, 15 of Gardner, also competed in the event.
Eighteen-year-old Ryan Weisenburger, Spring Hill, vaulted 13-feet, 6-inches and finished in second place in the 17-18 boys group.
Sprinter Luke Laskowski, 12 of Gardner, finished in fourth place in two events – the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash.
The 2012 Sunflower Games set a new record for participation since the organization came to existence in 1990. Attendance increased by 228 athletes compared to 8,483 in 2011. In addition, 19 of the 45 sports contested set participation records as well.
“We are extremely happy with the record attendance for the 2012 Games. The increase in numbers is a reflection of how serious Kansans are about increasing their health and wellness through participation in sports. We thank each and every athlete for choosing the Sunflower State Games as an avenue to improve their quality of life,” said Executive Director, Mitch Gross.
The games hosted 45 sporting events at over 35 locations in the Topeka and Shawnee County area from July 13-29. Official results for all events can be found online at www.sunflowergames.com.
The 2013 Sunflower State Games took place July 12-28 in Topeka. The Sunflower State Games is a non-profit, statewide amateur sports festival for all Kansans.  The purpose of the games is to provide top-quality amateur competition in a wide range of activities and promote physical fitness, personal health and well-being for Kansans of all ages and skill levels.  For more information, log onto www.sunflowergames.com.