Garden City Buffaloes

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Ex-Buffs star in college debut years

Published 5/18/2014

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

Three former Garden City High School sports stars — softball pitcher Leslie Ford, golfer Abbey Campbell and track hurdler Jonathan DuVall — have made a splash onto the college sports scene in their respective sports as freshmen.

Leslie Ford, softball

Ford, a three-time Telegram All-Area selection and one of the top pitchers in Lady Buffs program history, just completed her freshman season at Kansas City, Kan. Community College, where she was the ace of the Lady Blue Devils' staff.

During her first year on the mound for KCCC, Ford compiled a 22-8 won-loss record, including two saves. In 192.2 innings, she recorded 183 strikeouts and compiled a 1.71 earned-run-average. She had 26 complete games and notched three no-hitters, while also throwing seven shutouts. Her numbers for appearances (34), saves, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched and strikeouts all placed her in the top 10 for NJCAA Division II pitchers. She also batted .276 with 12 RBIs.

Her performance earned her NJCAA All-Region VI Division II District E first-team honors, while also earning honorable mention honors in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference for Division II teams. During the season, Ford was recognized as the Division II pitcher of the week.

Abbey Campbell, golf

Campbell completed her freshman season at the University of Missouri-Kansas City by placing seventh individually at the season-ending Western Athletic Conference championship in Mesa, Ariz.

The 54-hole tournament, played at the Longbow Golf Club, saw Campbell shoot rounds of 83-77-75 for a 235 total. She was the low scorer in the final two rounds, and for the tournament, for the Lady Kangaroos.

The Lady 'Roos finished behind winner New Mexico State, Idaho and Seattle in the team standings.

During her freshman season, Campbell played 30 competitive rounds and compiled a scoring average of 80.5 for 18 holes. Her low round of the year, 72, came at the Kangaroo Invitational at Shoal Creek Golf Club in Kansas City, Mo.

The former Lady Buffs standout had two top-10 finishes and two more top-20 finishes.

Jonathan DuVall, track

DuVall, a two-time Class 6A state champion in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdle races, has blazed his way onto the college track scene in his inaugural season with the Shockers.

His personal best time of 51.51 in the 400-meter hurdles ranked him No. 1 overall in the Missouri Valley Conference, and was tied for 40th in NCAA-Division I rankings. His season fastest time came in the Ward Haylett Invitational at Kansas State University in Manhatta in early May.

During the 2013-14 indoor season, DuVall clocked a 8.18 in the 60-meter high hurdles, ranking him ninth overall, and No. 1 among freshman hurdlers. He also posted an indoor best of 21.72 in the 200-meters, just ahead of freshman teammate Tate Annis of Ulysses, who was at 21.81 seconds. That 200-meter mark was seventh fastest in the MVC during the indoor campaign. Annis also recorded an indoor best in the long jump at 23-6.75, ranking him eighth.

In the 2014 outdoor season, DuVall has posted a best time of 14.38 seconds in the 110-meter high hurdles, tying for sixth best in the MVC.

On Sunday, at the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships in Carbondale, Ill., DuVall qualified for the finals in both the 110s (14.41) and the 400s (53.01). In the finals, he posted times of 14.69 and 51.73 to place eighth and sixth, respectively. He also ran the third leg of the Shockers' 4x100-meter relay team that finished second with a time of 40.95 seconds.

Postseason playoffs

Garden City High School, as well as area schools, swing into postseason playoffs starting today with regional golf, baseball and softball starting statewide.

The Buffs' boys golf team is competing today at the Class 6A regional in Wichita at Sim Park Golf Course. A top three finish advances them to the state tournament on May 27 at Topeka Country Club.

The GCHS boys baseball team plays in its 6A regional tournament on Tuesday at 2 p.m. against Wichita Northwest at Derby. The Buffs are 8-12 overall and drew the No. 7 seed. Northwest is 10-10 and the No. 6 seed. A win puts the Buffs into the regional championship game at 6 p.m. against the winner of the Derby (14-5)-Wichita South (1-19) game.

In girls softball, the Lady Buffs will host the 6A regional on Wednesday at Tangeman Sports Complex. Hutchinson (12-8) and Campus (7-13) open play at 2 p.m. with the Lady Buffs (12-7) taking on Wichita East (4-16) at 3:45 p.m. The championship game is slated to begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. The Lady Buffs are the No. 3 overall seed among the 11 teams comprising south central and western Kansas teams.

The Lady Buffs soccer team, with a 10-6 record and a No. 6 seed among 16 teams, is host to rival Dodge City at 5 p.m. today at Buffalo Stadium. A win puts them into the regional championship game on Thursday, with the game most likely being played at Manhattan, the No. 3 overall seed. Manhattan hosts Wichita East today.

On Friday, the Buffs' boys and girls track and field teams head to Maize for the 6A regional qualifying to determine entrants for the May 30-31 state championships at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium.

The GCHS girls swimming team will have at least two relays and several individuals competing on Friday and Saturday at the Class 6A state meet at the Topeka-Capitol Federal Natatorium. Class 6A preliminary qualifying races begin at 1:30 p.m. Finals are set for Saturday.

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