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Pratt athletes among those recognized in Best of Kansas All-Star Preps Awards

Kahrie Stegman
Pratt Tribune
Pratt High School's Livia Swift was the school's, and the state's, first-ever state wrestling champion in her 2020 female weight division. She will be honored in the Best of Preps virtual show this Thursday.

Two Pratt High School students will be recognized as two of the greatest athletes in the state on June 18 because of their wrestling performances this season. Sophomore Livia Swift and Devon Weber were both nominated for the Elite Teams for the Best of Kansas All-Star Preps Awards presented by the Topeka Capital-Journal in a virtual format.

To honor the Kansas high school athletes and their achievements, some of the most well-known professional athletes in the country will be presenting the awards. These athletes include Patrick Mahomes, Stephen Curry, Venus Williams, Gary Woodland, Michael Phelps, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Jordan Burroughs, Gabby Douglas, and many more.

Among Kansas athletes being recognized is Sophomore Livia Swift of Pratt. She has had an impressive season, with Regional and State Championship titles in wrestling.

“I feel as if anyone who watched me wrestle can tell I’m very passionate and determined to win,” Swift said.

Swift has been wrestling since she was five years old, but she never expected to see the amount of success she has seen this year alone.

“I have been working for being nominated for big things like this since I was 5 years old,” Swift said. “I never imagined girls wrestling going this far.”

Though being one of the only girls to wrestle was tough, she saw just how rewarding her hard work was.

“My first year wrestling in high school, six girls went out and I was the only one who finished,” Swift said. “I would get nervous going into the room while being the only girl. Almost everyday I would go into practice knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to beat my practice partner, but I would win where it counts on the weekends.”

Pratt High School Head Wrestling Coach Tate Thompson has helped Swift in her journey to the State Championship.

“I remember him telling me several times throughout the season, ‘we are working for a state championship.’ I used to think he was crazy, but Thompson is really one of those coaches that believes in you when you don’t believe in yourself sometimes,” Swift said.

Besides Coach Thompson, one other coach in her life has helped her get to where she is today.

“Another coach who has helped me be the woman, wrestler, and person today is my Dad,” Swift said. “I would be nowhere near the wrestler and person I am today without him.”

Junior Devon Weber won the State Championship this year for the second year in a row.

Weber did not accept the request for an interview.

To watch the show, see a full list of celebrity presenters, and see a full list of high school honorees, visit cjonline.com/preps.