Pair of Kansas natives headed to Tokyo Olympics

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Two Kansas natives, a soccer player and a softball player are headed to the Tokyo Olympics. Adding to their place in history for the Sunflower State, both are women of color.

Former Salina South High School star Adrianna Franch is one of 18 players on the Women’s U.S. Olympic Soccer Team.

Salina South’s soccer coach, Trey Crow, coached Franch for three years. Franch currently plays goalkeeper professionally in Portland. She’s the first women’s soccer Olympian from Kansas.

Crow said players on his current team look up to Franch.

“They look up to her and they know who she is,” Crow said. “I coach a couple club teams and every time they see her name on the TV or on the news, they are excited because they are like, ‘oh, she played at South.”

Crow said seeing Franch play at the sport’s highest level is exciting, but he’s not surprised to see her doing it.

“She was very intense. Everything we did, it was meant to be competitive. She hated to lose,” he said.

Also headed to Tokyo for the 2021 Summer Olympics is Maize High School graduate, softball star Kelsey Stewart. On Wednesday, family and friends set her off with a celebration.

“It’s really cool. It’s something I’ve been working my whole life for, so to finally be able to say those words: “forever Olympian,” no one can take that from me,” Stewart said.

Being women of color, Franch and Stewart add to a diverse list of American athletes competing in Tokyo.

Later this week, recent Andale High School graduate Katelyn Fairchild will compete to add to the Kansas Olympic representation. Fairchild, a multi state champion track and field athlete, will compete in the javelin throw at the U.S. Olympic trials,

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