Standout Iola hurdler up for state honor in online vote


May 15, 2020 - 2:24 PM

Junior Elysia Kunkler clears a standard during one of the hurdle races on Thursday at Labette County. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON Register file photo

Iola High’s Elysia Kunkler is in the running (through online voting) for the title of the top Kansas girls high school hurdler for the past decade.

Online voting began Friday at for the top boys and girls track performers in Kansas over the past 10 years. Editors have selected the top 16 candidates in each discipline for head-to-head voting.

Voting in each round runs for three days, with the top vote-getters advancing to the next round.

Kunkler, a three-time state qualifier in the 100-meter high hurdles and a qualifier in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, is pitted against Alexa Harmon-Thomas, a 2014 Free State High graduate out of Lawrence. 

Harmon-Thomas is a four-time state champion in hurdle events and holds the Class 6A state record in the 300 IH. She competed collegiately at Texas and Southern California.

Both athletes have shined in events outside of the state high school track meet. Kunkler has qualified for nationals in the Junior Olympics in several events as a high-schooler. Her senior season at IHS, however, was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online voting can be done here.


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