State Champions

Golden Plains Celebrates State Success
by Judy Rogers 

Golden Plains High School has a history of success at the state level in both athletic and non-athletic events.  “For being one of the smaller schools in the state, our activity and athletic programs have seen a significant amount of success at the local, regional and state levels,” said Coach Travis Smith.  “Our students take pride in not only participating in athletics, but in the activities we sponsor.  From volleyball to scholar’s bowl we have a significant percentage of our students participating in activities, athletics or both. At the same time, we have a dedicated staff that wants to see our students grow on and off the floor and field.”

The girls’ basketball teams have made numerous trips to the state basketball tournaments.  It all started in 1974 under Coach Linda Ryan when the girls placed second in the state.  In 1981 the girls returned to state placing third under Coach Mike Wilson. Coach Dean Grassie led the girls to qualify for state in 1993—the only year both boys and girls qualified for state.

In 2006, Coach Parker Christensen took his girls to state for the first of six seasons.  They placed fourth that year and returned in 2007.  Christensen and his girls returned to state four out of five seasons placing third in 2013, and were state runner-up in 2014.  They qualified again in 2016 and placed fourth in 2017.  They just missed out in 2019 and 2020 as sub-state runner up with 22-1 seasons.

On the boys side of basketball, they claim the only Golden Plains state championship which came in 1985 when the team was undefeated at 26-0 under the leadership of Coach Jerry Livingston.  The boys qualified again in 1993 under Coach Jeff Parriot and in 2003 under Coach Travis Smith.  They returned to state in 2011 with Coach Terry Preston.

In football, the Bulldogs posted several post-season playoffs while playing in the 8-man division.  They switched to 6-man in 2016 and have made trips to the Wild West Bowl, which is the six-man playoff tournament, each season since.  The Bulldogs placed third in 2016 and fourth in 2017.  In 2018, they qualified for the championship game, taking runner-up.  This past season, the Bulldogs again placed third.

The volleyball team has had many successful seasons and has played in multiple sub-state championship games over the years.  However, they have yet to qualify for the state tournament.

Golden Plains has never missed a trip to the state track meet in Wichita in recent years until this year due to the season being cancelled.  Numerous athletes have found success, and medals, at the state meet.  Several events have brought home the gold medals. 

The most recent gold medals won by Bulldog athletes was the 4 x 400m relay in 2018.  Brooke Stoll, Mabel Lugo, Ashley Stoll, and KayCee Miller won first place in this event all season including the state meet where they ran a 4:07.03 in prelims and 4:10.09 in finals for the state championship.  They returned to state in 2019 running a 4:09.13 for state runner-up.  They currently hold the school record of 4:07.03.  These four girls placed fourth in the 4 x100m relay in 2018 setting the school record of 51.27 in preliminaries and placed sixth in 2019.

KayCee Miller claimed another gold medal in 2018 as she long jumped her way to a state championship with a 17’ 0” jump.  She set the school record in long jump several times currently holding the school record on 17’ 0.5”.  She is the only Golden Plains female athlete to place at the state meet all four years of high school. “It will be something I will always remember,” said Miller.  “Track is a sport that you are only as good as you want to be.  Hard work pays off—if you stick with it, you might just surprise yourself like I did!”

Also winning gold at the state track meet was Danielle Hickert who was the state champion in Discus in 2003.  She threw the discus 120’ 4” in 2003 and still holds the school record of 132’ 3”.   She was also the state runner-up in Shot Put in 2002 and 2003 holding the school record of 41’ 3.25”.  Kristi Withers won State gold for Golden Plains in 1990 in the 200m. She was also state runner-up in the 100m that year. 

Additional state placers include:  Mabel Lugo-3rd in 400m (2017), Darcie Spresser-3rd in 800m (2002), Erin Ross-3rd in 3200m (1998), Debbie Korte-3rd in Discus (1983), 4 x 100m Relay-4th with KayCee Miller, Ashley  Stoll, Brooke Stoll, and Mabel Lugo who hold the school record of 51.27 (2018), Kami Miller 4th in 100m hurdles (2015), Macayla Easton-4th in 400m (2012), Valerie Broeckelman-4th in Triple Jump with new school record. KayCee Miller-5th in 200m (2018), Ashley Stoll-5th in 400m (2018), Julie Kennedy-5th in 800m (1986), Mindy Rogers-5th in 800m (2000), KayCee Miller-6th in Long Jump (2019), 4 x 100m Relay-6th run by Brooke Stoll, Ashley Stoll, KayCee Miller, and Mabel Lugo (2019), Liz Staats-6th in 400m (2006), Ashlee Hudson-6th in 3200m (2004), 4 x 400m Relay-6th place with April Riedel, Dana Broeckelman, Darci Spresser, and Erin Rogers (2002), and Mindy Rogers 6th in 800m (1998).

In 2009 Rilee Spresser triple jumped his way to the only Golden Plains boys state championship with a 41’ 3” jump.  He also placed 7th in High Jump and 7th in Long Jump that year and holds the long jump record on 20’ 10”.

Tate Bruggeman is the only male Golden Plains athlete to stand on the state podium all four years of high school—all in high jump.  He placed 5th in 2006, 4th in 2007, 3rd in 2008, and was state runner-up in 2009 with a 6’ 4” jump.   Cole Christensen placed third in high jump in 2012 and holds the school record of 6’ 5.25”.  “At the time I didn’t realize I was the only one.  "First off, this is a pretty awesome and humbling accolade for my time at Rexford,” said Bruggeman.  “I never realized that I was a part of such a unique effort. But if I were to give others advice on this, I would say the most immediate thing to do is listen to your coaches or anyone that is willing to fill your ear with good advice. Take that information and see what you can do about applying it. I don't remember what sent me over that hump freshman year, but once I was able to do what they told me to do, things started working out better, pertaining to my form and where to look. Other obvious things would be to get in the gym or weight room and go to those optional workouts. Lastly, just enjoy it and make sure you tried your best. You'll remember times like these.”

Additional state placers include:  Mike Miller-4th in 100m in 1986 where he set the school record of 11.01.  Kaylnn Weber placed sixth in the 200m dash in 2012 and holds the school record of 22.61.  Brett Spresser placed sixth in shot put in 2007 and Casey Shaw placed sixth in pole vault in 2003.

For many years, Golden Plains has competed in the KEMFA state powerlifting meet held in Claflin.  Students have performed well at these meets with numerous athletes having placed in the top six throughout the years with Lee Albers taking first overall in 2003.  In 2008 Tim Beeck set a new state record in bench of for his weight class, which held for nearly 10 years.  Danielle Hickert set a new state record in power clean in 2003.

Along with the athletic success, Golden Plains has had numerous one ratings at state music and has placed several times in state Scholar’s Bowl.  They were state runner-up in 2018 with team members Devin Carter, Angel Sanchez, Flint Hodge, Jennifer Esparza, Taryn Fleckenstein, and Charlotte McCurdy.  In 2017, the team placed fifth with team members Jennifer Esparza, Devin Carter, Nick Brown, Angel Sanchez, and Clayton Bange.  In 2010 they finished third at the state tournament.  Team members were Lucas Phillips, Shaun Gilbert, Jonathan Broeckelman, Megan Zodrow, Isaac Brockelman, and Michael Roehl.  The teams also qualified for state in 2008, 2991, 1998, 1993, and 1985.

Each year students qualify for the State Forensics meet in Salina.  Robynn Oschner was the state champion in Prose in 1998.  She is now the Golden Plains Forensics coach and has had several students place at State including Lauren Patmon-5th in Prose in 2019, Devin Carter and Angel Sanchez placed third in IDA in 2018, Amanda Cheney was fifth in Poetry in 2018, and Devin Carter and Taryn Fleckenstein were fifth in Duet in 2018.  In 2017 Carter and Sanchez places sixth in IDA and Koi Wessel was sixth in Extemp in 2015 and 2016.

Michelle Gilbert was state champion in both Prose and Poetry in 1993 and Andrea Trembley was state champion in Expository Speaking the same year.  Liz Purcell was first in  Serious Solo in 2000.  Second place winners at state included Kristen Wark-Serious Solo (2004), Amber Staats-2nd in Prose and 3rd in Serious Solo (2004), Mindy Rogers-2nd in Lincoln Douglas Debate (2002), Amber Staats 3rd in Serious Solo (2001), and Chris Broeckelman-4th in Informative (2001).

Jay Todd was crowned State High School Champion Team Roper in 1987.

State Track

The Golden Plains girls 4 x 400m relay team won the state championship in 2018 and hold the school record at 4:07.03.  These girls set the record several times throughout the 2018 season to break the 2002 record of 4:14 set by April Riedel, Darci Spresser, Erin Rogers, and Dana Broeckelman .  Team members included (l-r) Brooke Stoll, KayCee Miller, Ashley Stoll, and Mabel Lugo.  (photo by Maggi Nieman)

State Track

Tate Bruggeman clears the high jump bar at state track in 2008. Bruggeman is the only Golden Plains male athlete to place in the same event all four years of high school.  He placed 5th in 2006, 4th in 2007, 3rd in 2008, and was the state runner-up in 2009.  (photo by Judy Rogers)


The 1985 Boys Basketball State Championship team is the only basketball team to win a state championship in the school history.  The boys have qualified for the state tournament 4 times while the girls have qualified 9 times holding two runner-up, two third place, and two fourth place titles.  Members of the state championship team included:  Front Row--Ty Carman, Lance Lunsway, Donnie Delzeit, Alan Spresser, Parker Christensen, Scott Bruggeman, Shane Bowman

Back Row--Robbie Koerperich, Robert Korte, Coach Jerry Livingston, Ronnie Albers,

Mike Miller, Coach Larry Wahlmeier, Jay Todd.  (photo courtesy GPHS)


The Lady Bulldog Basketball team placed runner-up at the state basketball tournament in 1974 and again in 2014.  Team members in 2014 included (l-r) KayCee Miller-mgr, Ana Bermudez, Kynndra Rush, Carmen Sepulveda, Brittany Fringer, Gabrielle Schiltz, Rachael Ritter, Madison Walz, MiKayla Lobato, Hailee Spresser, Jordan Christensen, Kami Miller, Morgan Ritter, Maggie Nieman-mgr.   The team coached by Steve Shaw and Parker Christensen (back) placed third in 2013.  Christensen has led the Lady Bulldogs to six of their nine trips to the state tournament. (photo by Judy Rogers)


The GPHS Football team has qualified for and played in the state play-off Wild West Bowl each year since switching to six man in 2016.  They placed third in 2016, fourth in 2017, and were state runner-up in 2018.  They placed third again in 2019.  Team members on the state runner up team in 2018 included:  front—Alex Gonzalez-mgr, Fabian Cepeda-mgr, Ethan Shea, Wade Rush, Ashton Schiltz, Roberto Loya, Austin Durham, Toby Korte, Tanner Trussell, back—Coach Russ Aumiller, Jovanny Infante-mgr, Kole Butts-mgr, Jaime Infante, Rojelio Loya, Chris Stoltz, Josh Spresser, Miguel Monge-Stevens, Caleb Korte, Nolan Ritter, Jacob Ritter, Dylan Spresser, Coach Travis Smith.  Not pictured—Wyatt McDonald-mgr. (photo by Judy Rogers)


The Golden Plains Scholar Bowl Team has qualified for the state meet eight times.  They placed third in 2010, fifth in 2017, and were state runner-up in 2018 with team members (l-r) Flint Hodge, Charlotte, McCurdy, Devin Carter, Angel Sanchez, Jennifer Esparza, and Taryn Fleckenstein. (photo by Coach Steiner Scott)


Tim Beeck sets the state record in Bench at the state powerlifting meet in 2008. Tim’s record held for nearly 10 years.  Danielle Hickert set a new state record in Power Clean in 2003.  Many Bulldogs have placed in the top six of the state meet with Lee Albers taking first overall in 2003. (photo by Judy Rogers)