2017 Topeka Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

The newest members of the Topeka and Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame were announced recently, and they include some familiar names representing many different sports. Here is the list, along with a bit of information about each inductee:

Jocelyn Bentley, a 1980 Highland Park graduate, was a state champion sprinter. As a sophomore she won the state 440 yard dash, and as a junior and senior took the 400m. As a senior, she also won the 100m and 200m races and helped lead Highland Park to the state team title. Also in 1980, Bentley became the first girl to run under 55 seconds in the 400m, and the first to run under 24.5 in the 200m races in the state of Kansas, and she is still holds the third best time ever in the 400m.  She is also a member of the Highland Park Wall of Honor.

Marc Elliott, a 1977 Silver Lake graduate, excelled in many sports. He held the career record for passing yards at Silver Lake at the time of his graduation, and went on to play quarterback at Washburn. On the diamond, Elliott set the state record for career home runs with 36, which was eventually broken 27 years later, while posting an 8-0 record on the mound his senior year. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 6th round in 1977, and eventually spent three seasons in the minor leagues. Elliott is also an amateur golfer and has won several Topeka City Stroke Play and City Match Play titles. He is currently Washburn’s play by play announcer.

Gary Woodland, a 2002 graduate of Shawnee Heights High School, was a three time city golf champion, and also help lead the T-Birds to two 5A state basketball titles. He was also the first All-State basketball pick in Shawnee Heights history.  He went to Washburn to play basketball, but eventually transferred to Kansas to focus on his golf game. Woodland turned pro in golf in 2007, and has two career PGA Tour victories and one International victory to go along with eight 2nd place finishes, one 3rd place finish, and 26 top ten finishes.

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Awards Banquet will be Thursday, June 22 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Maner Conference Center. Look for the new inductees’ plaques, along with the past inductees, in the Topeka Sports Hall of Fame, which is housed here in the library’s West Wing in the Sports Neighborhood.

Photos courtesy of the Topeka Capital-Journal

I'm the Red Carpet Librarian and work to bring lifelong support services to the Topeka and Shawnee County area through outreach and programming. I also am a sports enthusiast, work closely with the library's sports collection, and provide programming to engage the community's sports fans.