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Barton Athletics to induct five into its Sports Hall of Fame

Barton Hall of Fame graphic

The Barton Community College Athletic Department will induct L.T. and Sheila Fleske, Hyleas Fountain, Leevan Sands, and Susan Sundahl-Ryan to its Sports Hall of Fame this Saturday, February 8.  The Class of 2014 inductees will be recognized and honored at a 3:00 p.m. induction ceremony to be held in the Kirkman Activity Center located on the Barton Campus.  The induction ceremony is free and open to the public.  Public attendance also encouraged in honoring the inductees between the women’s and men’s basketball games versus Cloud County Community College later that evening.  In addition to Hall of Fame activities, the Athletic Department will be recognizing during halftime of the men’s contest the recent contributions from Larry and Kathy Schugart and their family for facility improvements.

Longtime contributors to Barton Athletics, the Fleskes will be joined in the 2014 induction class by former women’s basketball player Sundahl-Ryan and track and field Olympians Fountain and Sands. 

Schedule of Events
Saturday, February 8, 2014 at Barton Community College

3:00 p.m. – Induction Ceremony located on lower level of the Kirkman Activity Center on the Barton campus.  Admission is free and public is encouraged to attend. *Live web streaming will also be available.  **Ceremony program available here

5:30 p.m. – Barton women’s basketball versus Cloud County Community College

*7:15 p.m. - *Approximate time. Inductees will be presented with Hall of Fame plaques between the women’s and men’s basketball games.  (Game Program)

7:30 p.m. – Barton men’s basketball versus Cloud County Community College

*8:00 p.m. - *Approximate time. Barton will also be recognizing Larry and Kathy Schugart and family during halftime of the men’s game for their recent contributions for facility improvements.

L.T. and Sheila Fleske

A staple in the Barton community for over thirty-years, Dr. L.T. and Sheila Fleske have been positive examples of giving back to their community.   Their generosity to Barton Community College is of no exception as the Fleskes have been instrumental in many projects allowing Barton Athletics to reach higher levels of excellence throughout the entire sports department.

In the fall of 2012, the Fleskes were instrumental in the installation of a new gym floor which appropriately was named “L.T. and Sheila Fleske Court”.  Their contribution made the project possible as basketball and volleyball teams now have a state-of-the-art performance surface for training and game competition.

An orthopedic surgeon for the Central Kansas Orthopedic Group in Great Bend, Kansas, L.T. has served countless patients in his thirty-plus years of practice.  A founding member and board member of Great Bend Regional Hospital, L.T. is an active member of the orthopedic and medical associations around Kansas.  Additionally L.T. was the founding member and director of American State Bank, as well as, served on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Liaison Committee.

A former junior high math teacher in the Kansas City and Wichita areas through 1980, Sheila was a member of the Barton County Medical Auxiliary until its dissolving and currently is an active member of P.E.O. International encouraging and supporting women to reach self-defined goals and aspirations.

Active members of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Great Bend, the Fleskes have two children, daughter Wendy and son Carey.

Hyleas Fountain

Hyleas Fountain has been one of the top heptathletes in U.S. Track and Field history ever since having the opportunity at Barton Community College.  Breaking records and earning multiple championships, Fountain is only the second American to win an Olympic medal in the heptathlon, earning a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  In the Olympic trials she set a personal best in points (6667), broke three records, and set five personal bests in the seven heptathlon events.  Despite years of competing through injuries, Fountain again earned the national honor of competing for the United States in the 2012 London Olympics.   Reflective of her spirit, Fountain kept competing despite injuries forcing her to withdrawal on the last event yet recorded the highest incomplete score of the competition.

Fountain etched her name throughout the indoor and outdoor Barton record books, as well as, made her mark on national records and achievements.  Fountain’s freshman season set the stage for what was to come as she set the NJCAA National Indoor Meet record in 2001 for the High Jump 5 Alive clearing 5’7 1/3”.  Putting together one of the most decorated single season in Barton history, Fountain’s sophomore season brought five individual national championships, set four event records in the Heptathlon, and earned the “Female Field Athlete of the Meet” at both the indoor and outdoor NJCAA National Championships.

Continuing her illustrious collegiate career at the University of Georgia, Fountain became a 2-time NCAA Indoor Champion and a 2-time NCAA Outdoor Champion.  Fountain left Georgia having set the school record in five events and owning the Southeastern Conference record in the Pentathlon.

A 2005 USA Indoor Pentathlon Champion, Fountain also captured the USA Outdoor Heptathlon Championship five times.  If track and field wasn’t enough to prove her talent, hard work, and dedication, a brief stint on the ice helped USA Bobsled to a bronze medal in the 2012 North American Cup.

Leevan Sands

Leevan Sands has achieved excellence on the track at each level of competition throughout his career.  Dominant on the track for the Cougars, Sands is a multiple record holder, national champion, and 3-time Olympian athlete competing for his home country of the Bahamas.

From 2000-2002 Sands was a member of the storied Cougar Track and Field team that took the nation by storm capturing both the indoor and outdoor NJCAA National Championships.   Earning the elite distinction of “Male Field Athlete of the Meet” in the 2002 NJCAA National Indoor Championships, Sands dominated 2002 winning both the indoor and outdoor championships in both the long and triple jumps.  In the 2002 outdoor championship Sands sailed to 57-05.00 in the triple jump to set a national meet, school record, and Bahamian national record in helping Barton win its fifth of eight straight national outdoor championships.  

Moving on to the Auburn University, Sands became a 2-time NCAA Champion and 4-Time NCAA All-American.  After finishing third in the long jump during the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships, Sands won the outdoor crown with the second best school leap of 27-02.00 while also finishing runner-up in the triple.  Sands senior season he added the outdoor triple jump to his collegiate accomplishments.  Owning Auburn records in the indoor and outdoor triple jump, as well as, the indoor long jump, Sands captured six Southeastern Conference track titles and the 2004 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.  

A 1999 Gatorade Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year in the state of Florida, the Bahamas born Sands has earned distinction worldwide in multiple championships.  Following his stint at Barton, Sands won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, then followed with another bronze medal a year later at the World Championships in Paris, France.  A Bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Sands again set the Bahamian triple jump record of 57-08.51.

Susan (Sundahl) Ryan

Arriving at Barton in its second year of women’s basketball in 1978, Susan (Sundahl) Ryan helped catapult the women’s basketball program to conference, region, and national respectable levels.  The Lady Cougars jumped into the national polls for the first time in women’s basketball history during her sophomore season while Sundahl’s personal accomplishments led to her becoming the becoming the first All-American in Lady Cougar Basketball history.  

Playing at the collegiate level in what was probably her second best sport next to softball, the freshman from McPherson, Kansas, earned all-region honors averaged 15.3 points and five rebounds per game as the Lady Cougars finished 11-13 on the season.  

As a sophomore, Sundahl helped lead the Lady Cougars to a 10-0 start to the season and a first-ever national ranking, entering the poll at No. 16.   Leading the region in scoring, Sundahl averaged 17.3 points, six rebounds, and three assists per contest to also earn All-Region VI honors and selection to play in the East-West All-Star game.  The Lady Cougars finished 21-6 on the season having been upset in the region semifinals.

Continuing her playing career at McPherson College, Sundahl was the second leading scorer in the Kansas Christian Athletic Conference (KCAC) in both her seasons. In her junior season she averaged 16 points per game and finished second in the conference in free throw percentage.  Sundahl capped her career averaging over 17 points per game and ranking twelfth in the nation draining 83% of her foul shots.  Sundahl again almost added all-American to her playing resume finishing a mere one vote shy of garnering the honor.

An Art major in college, Sundahl worked at the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka, Kansas, from 1987 until 2002 when she and her family moved to Evans, Georgia.  An avid painter, Sundahl and her husband Michael have two children, Amanda and Kevin.