Labette Bank Athlete of the Month: Kaylee Bogina

Kaylee Bogina of Northeast-Arma captured the 3A girls state title. (courtesy photo)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Nov 2, 2014

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The Labette Bank Athlete of the Month chosen by Sports in Kansas for the month of October is Kaylee Bogina of Northeast High School in Arma. 

Bogina, a senior cross country runner for the Vikings, captured the 3A state title on Friday with an impressive showing at KU's Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence. Bogina dominated competition by winning the race by more than 20 seconds with a time of 15:12.50. It was Bogina's first state cross country title, but fourth overall state title as she has three state track and field titles (3200-2, 1600) dating back to her sophomore year.

"Cross Country is the ultimate distance event. In track, I love that I am able to show my speed but cross country takes the distance events to a whole different level. You can't just have speed, you have to have determination and be willing to go through pain that you don't have to on the track." Bogina said.

Bogina worked hard in the off-season by building her mileage base up and working out on hills around her high school to prepare for the 2014 season.

"We have some incredible hills just a mile away from my school that helped prepare me for Rim Rock," Bogina said. "This summer I worked on getting my body stronger. I thought about what areas I was weak in and I worked to strengthen them." 

Workouts may have helped in the off-season but her regular season competition in 2014 definitely helped pave the way for a state title in 2014. The Southeast Kansas area was loaded with cross country talent in 2014 as it brought home three total state titles. Cailie Logue, sophomore at Girard, captured the 4A title. Jenny O'Bryan, junior at St. Paul, captured the 1A title. Cassidy Westhoff of Fort Scott also placed fifth in the 4A race. 

"Cailie, Jenny and Cassidy are three of the best distance runners in the state," Bogina said. "I get to race against them every single week. No matter who wins, we all know that we are getting each other better for the race that matters, which is state." 

Bogina's family is no stranger to running. Her brother, Austin Bogina, was a state cross country champion for Northeast-Arma, winning the 2010 3A state title and now runs for Pittsburg State University. Her mom, Tracey Bogina, is the head track and field/cross country coach for Fort Scott and also ran at Pittsburg State. Her aunt, Piper Richardson, is Kaylee's head coach at Northeast and ran at Pittsburg State. Her cousin, J.T. Richardson, is now on the track and field team at Pittsburg State.

Bogina, who will look to add more state track titles this spring, is seeing college looks from Adams State, Kansas, Nebraska, Pitt State and Wichita State. 

"I am keeping my options open right now. I plan on taking some visits soon." Bogina said. 

Bogina is the first two-time winner of the monthly award, as she won it last May for her performance in track and field.

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Sports in Kansas: Kansas-Sports.Com (@sportsinkansas) and Labette Bank are in partnership to release an athlete of the month from the Southeast Kansas area once a month over the 2014-2015 school year. The athlete will be released and selected by @sportsinkansas with a feature on Kansas-Sports.Com. Nominations of athletes will be accepted during the last seven days of each month. 

Labette Bank features 11 branch locations across Southeast Kansas and is a proud supporter of athletics in the state of Kansas. Check them out online here

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Labette Bank Athlete of the Month Nomination Criteria

-Athlete (girl or boy) must play in the CNC, Pioneer, SEK, or TRL Leagues in Kansas.

-Selection will be based on the play of that athlete over the period of that month. All stats and info must be provided. 

-All nominations are accepted with selection process being handled and finalized only by @sportsinkansas. Coaches are encoraged to nominate their own athletes or athletes from opposing schools. 

-Nominations MUST be emailed. Please email chetkuplen@kansas-sports.com during the last seven days of the month to nominate your athlete!

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