EnglishSpanish

Schwieterman Runs Half Marathon

thumb

Although Sunday, May 17, 2020, was not the day local resident Kaylee Schwieterman imagined, it was still a monumental day.  Schwieterman, along with her brother planned to run a half marathon in Denver Colorado, in honor of the 20th year of their grandmother’s death, due to Alzheimers complications.    

Schwieterman began running in October to deal with the stress of school and grad school.  While searching for a charity run close to her family in Colorado Springs, she discovered the run for Alzheimers in Denver, thinking it would be a surprise for their dad, in honor of his mother.   

After the corona virus outbreak, Schwieterman found out on March 19, her 25th birthday, the race had been cancelled.  She decided to keep running to see if her body could do it. “I grew up playing sports but was not that competitive, and I never thought of myself as a runner.” 

Struggling to stay motivated because the school weight room closed and that was where she did most of her training, she resorted to training at the school track.  “I had some awesome people to support and motivate me,” she said. 

Schwieterman referred to her support group as the running community, ones who have ran half marathons, Jessie Bloyd, Liz Plunkett, Amy Norton, Tasha Sabata and Kayla Norton.  “These girls were super encouraging, talking about some of their struggles, giving tips on how many days a week to run.”  She also used an app on her phone to track and calculate different workouts for her. 

Sabata recalls her and Schwieterman running a 5K last fall, and she knew then, that Kaylee was addicted.  Sabata had planned to run at Denver also, but due to health issues, supported her by encouraging and helping to prepare her mentally for the race.  “A lot of it was her own doing,” said Sabata.   

The course in Denver would have taken them along Colfax Avenue by iconic spots like VooDoo Donuts, Irish Snug, Cathedral Basilica. All while running by the Capitol, Civic Center Park, 16th Street Mall, Convention Center, with the Colorado mountains in the background.  In addition, some of the spectators would have been rhinos, elephants, camels, monkeys, tigers as the route was a mile through the Denver Zoo.

Schwieterman’s route on Sunday had quite a different view as she began north of Syracuse on County Road 14, with nothing but the wide-open plains of western Kansas.  She headed south on the dirt road Q, seven miles.  At the seven mile mark, the running club along with Jessie and Kayla’s children, Rylan and Coy, first met up with her, yelling, and waving signs in addition to providing Gatorade and sugar gels containing caffein and sodium for fatigue and muscle cramps. 

Continuing south, crossing Highway 50, she ran on the frontage road along the railroad tracks to the Tamarisk Golf Course, where she was again met by her running group.  “We tried to meet her every couple of miles,” said Sabata. 

According to Schwieterman, miles eight, nine and ten were the hardest because she had a hard time drinking enough Gatorade, and she began feeling faint.  “But my support crew came along to supplement with more gels and Gatorade to help me.” 

Schwieterman’s thoughts along the way was grateful for what her body was able to do knowing some people cannot get out and run, or who can’t get out and exercise.  “I had to keep reminding myself that my legs knew what to do, the reluctance was in my mind, because my body knew what to do.” 

Continuing back through John Armstrong Park, back along the tracks, north on the hospital road turning west on toward Highway 27 circling around to head east, her supporters were there again as she headed toward the Barney Akers Gym. 

Turning the corner, heading north to the finish line behind the school, this was her finish while training so she knew what it would feel like to be gassed and coming up the hill.  While her husband, Scot, warned her there were people at the finish line, she thought, I really have to push and look like I’m doing something. 

Scot said, “It was awesome that she stuck to her commitment and thankful her friends and neighbors helped her fulfill it.” 

At the finish line, Schwieterman was greeted with Alicia Keyes’ song, “This Girl Is on Fire” blaring on a boom box, New Year’s Eve like noise makers and confetti strings, screams of encouragement in addition to her dog Mylie greeting her.  She finished in 2 hours and 20 minutes, just five minutes short of her goal. 

Plunkett knows how tough the training is but knows how the official race day makes it all worth it.  “Since she wasn’t going to get that we wanted to recreate the atmosphere as best we could.”  Adding, “it was awesome to be there for her, and I’m really proud and super impressed with her dedication.” 

Bloyd realizes it would have been easy to stop training when the race was cancelled due to COVID-19, but she kept going and finished strong.   “I’m really proud of her for the dedication to her training and seeing it through to race day.”   

Schwieterman said, still breathless from the race, “It was so cool, everything that I felt when I got to the top.” She appreciated Kayla and Coy coming to meet her on the golf cart, helping to push her that last stretch.   At that moment, she felt good and proud to live in a community that supported her.  “It’s very unique and not something I ever expected growing up in Colorado Springs.” 

According to Sabata, Schwieterman really wanted a racing bib to commemorate the event, so Sabata found a combination of the bib and medal, from the Virtual Strides website which raises money for several charities.  This year, one of their charities was for Coronavirus Relief. 

Had she run in Denver, her medal would have included a view of the mountains, city, stadium, and Capital building, also an elephant and fire truck.  Crossing the finish line in Syracuse, her medal was a 3D coronavirus molecule medal, featuring a toilet paper patterned ribbon, with the words, “Wash your hands, ya filthy animal” and an attached silicone keychain containing a one ounce bottle of hand sanitizer. 

“Small town experience is something new and I love it and this is a perfect example of how communities are great about rallying around people in times like this,” said Schwieterman gratefully.    

SPORTS

thumb

SCHOOL SPORTS

This is the second week coaches and athletes have been able to practice for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. Of the coaches interviewed, they all agree the athletes are working hard, have a positive attitude and they think it is due to their excitement of being back to practice... [More]

thumb

HIGH PLAINS LEAGUE

Kansas State High School Association recently announced the All-League honors for the 2019-2020 basketball season.  According to Syracuse High School Athletics Director, Dan Delgado, the recipients are chosen by selections made by each individual coach.  The players... [More]

thumb

Varsity Boys Come Up Short at Sub-state

Syracuse met Pratt Skyline in Elkhart on Saturday night for the Sub- state finals, after beating Wichita County High School 48-36 in the semi finals. Packed stands and excitement filled the air as both teams came to win. In a great battle, the score changed hands by just a few... [More]

thumb

VARSITY BOYS ADVANCE TO NEXT ROUND OF SUBSTATE

AUSTIN PLUNKETT/PHOTO BY KRISTA NORTON The boys took on Stanton County Tuesday night in the first round of the Substate games. Coming off of a loss against Leoti on Thursday night 49-46, On the Leoti loss, coach Bryce Simon said, “Our program was two minutes away from... [More]

thumb

VARSITY GIRLS MOVE ON TO NEXT ROUND OF SUBSTATE

Last Thursday, Senior night, the varsity girls basketball team went up against Leoti for a makeup game. The girls started off strong right away and never let up making it another great team win. The three seniors on the team are Areia Bustillos, Carly Kullot, and Margo Stum. ... [More]

thumb

Syracuse Loses to League Rival In final Road Game

The Syracuse Bulldogs Boys Basketball team travelled to Lakin on Friday, February 21st for their final road game of the season. The Bulldogs, sitting at 14-4 on the season, after coming off of their third straight win in a 69-18 trounce against Sharon Springs, the boys were seeking... [More]

thumb

SHS Varsity Basketball

The Girls Varsity Basketball competed in Tribune on Tuesday the 11th. They put together yet another four solid quarters.  They came out ready to play and it showed. At the end of the first quarter the score was 18-7. As the game continued to go on the girls never let up... [More]

thumb

Varsity Girls BBall

Last Friday, the varsity girls basketball travelled to Elkhart to compete. After losing to Elkhart at the championship game for the High Plains League Tournament, they wanted to dig deep and pick up a win on Elkhart’s home court. At half time it was a tied ball game, with... [More]

More Sports


OPINIONS

It's a Miracle

Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  My husband left early to go pick up a part for the farm. As he was leaving my daughter decided to go with him. ... [More]

Where Is The Love?

I began a large rant about mandatory masks. I started describing Carbon Dioxide  buildup in cloth masks verified by the Center of Disease Control (CDC). But then my friend got news that her son’s twenty hour surgery for a brain tumor that has grown again  is scheduled... [More]

thumb

Hard Work and Good Memories

My first car cost $400.00.  The fuel gauge didn’t work, and the window didn’t roll down.  So when I got to toll booths I had to open up my door to put the coins in. As a 17 year old that was a little embarrassing. It broke down often sometimes overheating.... [More]

Here's To The Diplomats

Have you met certain people that are able to diffuse situations quickly? The diplomats. Their goal is to get from point A to point B with as little drama as possible. Not putting their heads in the sand but rather leaving emotions out of things and moving forward. Most of us... [More]

Encourage, Support, and Guide?

It’s Tuesday night at 10:39 pm and I am slamming together a newspaper like a kid who didn’t get their homework done and has to turn it in shortly. It’s not how I operate. For the past six months I have lived and breathed this paper and I am happy about that.... [More]

Reconciliation?

Reconciliation between two people doesn’t come because you are right or you think you are right. Statistics don’t clear the air. Race relations and political differences are a lot like divorces - no trust. When I was a kid my parents marriage was an epic fail. Not... [More]

Can we accept each other versus tearing each other down?

I read an article in the New York Times discussing how the Coronavirus is affecting Republican and Democrats differently. Why does it matter if we are Republican or Democrat? Instead is it possible that we simply live in rural vs urban areas and have different challenges? Not... [More]

A Thank You To The Fallen Soldier

Memorial Day is a day set to honor those fallen soldiers who died for our freedom. There is a man I want to thank publicly but do not know his name. And since my father is deceased I cannot ask him the details I didn’t think were important all those years ago.  In... [More]

More Opinions

NEWS

A Coming Home Story

I told my friends in Kansas City that I was heading home to attend my mother’s funeral. Many thought of my home as Kansas City, but I have always referred to Syracuse as “home”. My good friend Ted Kitten, a Kendall native, who has also lived in Kansas... [More]

thumb

Hamilton County Covid-19 Data update

33 cases with 3 probable. 5 Hospitalizations.  A reminder this is a cumulative total and not all cases are active. The Hamilton County Health Department asks for you to socially distance when possible and wear a mask when you can't socially distance.

thumb

A Patriotic Display

Jake Thornburgh, retired U. S. Army Lieutenant Colonel lives with his wife, Cathleen in Coolidge, proudly flies his flag, but this year on July 4th, especially, wanted to show his patriotism. “With all that is in the news today, showing anti patriotism, my wife, knowing... [More]

Office of Rural Prosperity Launches Project for Young Rural Professionals

Office of Rural Prosperity Launches Project for Young Rural Professionals Partnering to develop a framework for meeting the needs of young people in rural Kansas. TOPEKA – Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers announced today the Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP) will partner with... [More]

Ranch Rodeo Goes On

The Ranch Rodeo is still scheduled to continue as planned. We understand the tough decision the Hamilton County Fair Board chose to make. However, the Syracuse Saddle Club has chosen to continue to promote and sponsor the Hamilton County Ranch Rodeo. We have submitted a Covid... [More]

County Fair Cancels Demo Derby and More

The Hamilton County Fair Board met Tuesday evening to discuss public events for the fair. Since their regualry scheduled meeting was on the first of July, they had no knowledge of if we would stay in phase 3 or how the face mask order might affect the fair.  On Wednesday... [More]

Hamilton County Commissioners Vote to Opt Out of Governor's Face Mask Order

The Hamilton County Commissioners voted 3-2 to opt out of the Governor's face mask order.  After a lengthy discussion, they support the local health department and believe face masks and social distancing are important.   We will stay in phase 3 and follow... [More]

Budget Shop is reopening July 15 with restrictions

Budget Shop is reopening July 15 Hand sanitizer provided.  Masks required. No children at this time. Shoppers limited to five at a time. 30 minute limit for shopping.  Open Wednesdays and Thursdays only 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM   Reminder - Donations... [More]

More News

OBITUARIES

thumb

J. Fred Miller

J. Fred Miller, beloved son, devoted husband, amazing father, and proud papa, passed away Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. SERVICE: Mary Ellen, Jennifer and Kelly invite J.’s friends to join them in a virtual service on Wednesday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m. Please... [More]

thumb

Donetta Ann Westeman

Donetta Ann Westeman, 77 of Syracuse, Kansas passed away on Saturday, July 4, 2020 at Stanton County Hospital.  Donetta Ann Donnel was born on August 5, 1942 in Syracuse, Kansas the daughter of Preston and Bertha Donnel.  Donetta grew up on the family farm north of... [More]

Claudia Jean Bezona

Claudia Jean Bezona 1937-2020 Valley Memorial-Holly Funeral Services for Granada, Colorado resident, Jeanne Bezona will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 26, 2020 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado with Pastor Kathy Leathers officiating.  Interment... [More]

Tamara Rayette Conser

Tamara Rayette Conser, 73, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Friday, June 19, 2020 at the Hays Medical Center in Hays, Kansas. Tamara’s surviving family include her daughter, Tami Shenk (Jeff) of Silver Lake, Kansas; five sons, Patrick Kinzie (Anna) of Phoenix, Arizona,... [More]

Gregorio Torres

Gregorio Torres, 60, of Syracuse Kansas passed away on June 10, 2020. He was born on November 17, 1959 in Guerrero, Mexico. His mother, Matilda Olivas De Torres survives. He was a farm hand and worked for D and R Construction.  His service will be held Tuesday, June... [More]

Sally Scott graveside service

Graveside service for Sally Scott who passed away May 17th will be held on June 27th at 10:00 am. The luncheon/reception will follow at the basement of the Black Bison Pub.

thumb

Eddie Eugene George

Eddie Eugene George, 69, of Syracuse, KS passed away on June 11, 2020. He was born on August 3, 1950, in Clinton, Oklahoma, the son of Emerson E. George and Shirley L. Collier.  Eddie was a proud 1972 graduate of Fort Hays State University and went on to a long career in... [More]

James Gregory Freeman

James Gregory Freeman, age 92, passed away at his home on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. He was born on October 2, 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Lewis Martin Freeman and Beatrice Sarah DeRohan. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved to Chicago, Illinois for most of... [More]

More Obituaries