Spani, Harrison to be inducted into Kansas Sports
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Gary Spani, Kansas State's all-time leading tackler, and Kenny Harrison, on of the University's finest track and field athletes, will be inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (KSHOF) Saturday in Wichita.
Spani and Harrison are two of 20 Kansans that will be enshrined into the KSHOF as members of its Class of 2004 during a banquet at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
A recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Spani was an all-state linebacker at Manhattan High School as a prep before becoming a three-time first team All Big-8 selection at Kansas State and the Wildcats' first consensus All-American.
Spani led the Wildcats in tackles during 1975, 1976 and 1977, finishing his K-State career with a school record 543 stops.
He went on to play nine years in the National Football league, and led the Kansas City Chiefs in tackles for four straight seasons and was named to Sports Illustrated's list of the 50 Greatest Players of the 20th Century from the state of Kansas.
Harrison set Big-8, U.S. and Olympic records and is regarded as one of the greatest triple jumper in the world.
As a sophomore at K-State, Harrison finished first in the triple jump at the 1986 NCAA Outdoor Championships. He went on to become the U.S. champion in 1990 and ranked number one in the world that year.
A year later in 1991, Harrison captured his second U.S. championship and once again ranked No. 1 in the world, winning a world championship.
Harrison's crowing achievement came at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games as he claimed the gold medal with a leap of 59'-4 ¼" - a mark that still stands as both the Olympic and U.S. record.
In order to be eligible for the KSHOF a candidates must possess ties to the state by meeting at least one of the following criteria: 1) Born in Kansas and lived in Kansas at least two years; 2) Attended a Kansas school at least three years; 3) Performed for or coached a Kansas team for at least two years (this allows Juco transfers to be eligible for induction); 4) Resided in Kansas a minimum of 10 years while performing or coaching.
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