(KMAland) -- The announcement of our sixth KMA Sports Hall of Fame class continues on throughout the month of August on Upon Further Review between 11:30 and 12:00.
Today, we welcome arguably the greatest thrower in the history of KMAland. Lewis Central’s Abby (Emsick) Reese was a dominant force throughout the state and one of the best throwers in the country.
“It was a great experience,” Reese told KMA Sports. “I was very competitive. My dad and I worked together, and he helped me to accomplish all of my achievements.”
And those achievements are seemingly unending. She won four discus and two shot put championships at the Drake Relays, claimed three state discus titles and one shot put gold and set multiple school, conference, state and Drake Relays records along the way.
“My fourth grade teacher said I should go out for track,” Reese said. “I told my dad, and he knew somebody in Omaha that ran a track club. He got me involved, and I did fairly good my first year. I could see a path that I could excel at this, so I kept focusing (on it).”
Reese went on to an accomplished career at the University of Kansas, reaching achievements with a stature not always conducive to elite throwers. Former Kansas throws coach Doug Reynolds put it succinctly for a story at KUSports.com in 2003: “I went out there with this idea of seeing these big, corn-fed Iowa girls — 6-foot behemoths.” Instead, Reese stood 5-foot-6 and went 150 pounds, according to the story.
“It was all about technique,” Reese said. “Some of the bigger, taller girls can just do it with their brute strength, but I had to really focus on the technical pieces. Especially for people that didn’t know, they wouldn’t think anything of me. I was the shortest and smallest one, but I would get in the ring and throw. Then they were like, ‘Oh.’”
Reese would qualify for the USA championships and the Olympic Trials, place second in the Big 12 and break the school-record at Kansas in the discus.
“It’s very, very technical,” she added. “You have your foot an inch off or your hand an inch off. Every piece of your body mechanics is very technical. The technique is kind of catered a little bit to your body type, but you have to put your body in certain positions in order to get the implement to fly.”
Reese joins David Kjeldgaard (18-19) as former Lewis Central stars in the KMA Sports Hall of Fame. Listen to the full interview with Reese in the audio file below — and stay tuned for more Hall of Fame announcements throughout the rest of the month.
OTHER 2020-21 KMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCEMENTS