CONCORDIA, Kansas — A pair of Cloud County Community College track and field athletes will continue their collegiate careers alongside each other as sophomores Tanner Brown and Levi Armon each signed national letters of intent on Thursday to compete at Wichita State University next year.
Brown and Armon, both Kansas natives from Russell and Ness City, respectively, were NJCAA national qualifiers for the T-Birds last spring and are expected to again be major contributors to a Cloud County men's team that finished third overall at the 2018 NJCAA DI Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The decision to stay in state and become a shocker was an easy one for Armon, who has specialized in the shot put, discus weight throw and hammer throw during his time with Cloud County.
"Wichita State had that home feeling and I felt comfortable there," Armon said. "I have family around the area and I'm glad to be going there. The coaches seemed really nice and I look forward to working with them next year."
As for Brown, who finished ninth at the national outdoor meet in the decathlon, he too said he felt right at home when he took his visit to WSU.
"When I visited Wichita State it was just different. All my other visits just felt like visits, but Wichita State felt like home," Brown said. "The coaches were great and I could see myself having a future there in the multis."
In addition to being a decathlete, Cloud County head men's track coach Harry Kitchener said that Brown has shown the talent and speed to be an impact relay runner for the T-Birds this spring and for the Shockers moving forward.
"Wichita State is looking forward to having him as a multi and they do great with their multi athletes down there," Kitchener said. "Tanner has a chance to become a very talented runner for them on relays, as well. We really enjoy him here. He's a very hard worker and we're glad to see him get this chance to go to Wichita."
As for Armon, he earned a sixth-place finish at the Region VI Indoor Champions with a throw of 46'3.25 and a 13th-place finish at the national outdoor championships in the shot put (46'1.5).
His best throw of the season came at last year's Southwest College Relays where he topped 50 feet (50'11) en route to finishing fourth in the shot put.
Ted Schmitz, Cloud County's head women's track coach and throws coach for both the men's and women's programs, said he believes Armon is just scratching the surface.
"Levi has been a fantastic to coach and works very hard," Schmitz said. "I think he's going to have a very good sophomore year here and he's going to continue to develop at the next level. He has a high ceiling and I think he will only continue to improve a great deal."
Brown said he plans on redshirting his first year at Wichita State to continue to hone his crafts in the multis, and both he and Armon said they are excited to continue their collegiate careers as teammates at the NCAA Division I level.
"I think it'll be amazing to see another familiar face when I'm there. Tanner is an awesome guy and I was very glad to know he'd be going to Wichita State, as well," Armon said. "I look forward to competing with him the next two years."