Purchase photos

WaKeeney’s Riedel crowned free throw champion

7/17/2014

Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

For most 12-year-olds, hours upon hours of shooting free throws in a bitterly frozen shed with a single space heater might seem like an odd way to spend their winter days after school.

Not for Adell Riedel. This past winter, the WaKeeney girl had been preparing for the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Contest by shooting thousands of shots, perfecting her form with each, and counting her makes and misses to increase the intensity of her practice throws.

She was familiar with how the competition would proceed as she already had one state championship under her belt from the previous year. Each contestant would shoot three warm-up shots and 25 continuous free throws in which only the person with the least misses of each age group would continue to the next level.

Riedel knew she had to put in the work if she wanted to defend her state champion title. She would soon learn that her perseverance paid off.

After winning the competition in WaKeeney, Riedel skated through the district contest, regional contest, and finally earned herself the opportunity to compete at the state championship on March 2 at Salina-Sacred Heart Jr/Sr High School Gym.

As she made her way back into the stands immediately thereafter her performance at state, Riedel’s face lit up and a widening smile appeared her parents, Don and Kay Riedel. She had made 24 out of 25 free throws.

She was satisfied with her accomplishment of being a state champion, and was surprised by how much her hard work had paid off. Little did she know, her score at state would crown her as the 2013-14 Knights of Columbus International Free Throw Champion in the 12-year-old division.

Riedel received a letter in early June from Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, notifying her of the accomplishment.

“I felt shocked that I actually did it. I won nationals,” she said.

According to the letter, Riedel had been placed “in the top one percentile of thousands and thousands of participants in the council, district, regional, and state levels of competition” throughout the entire nation.

Riedel also received a glass engraved trophy for the accomplishment and is expecting a congratulatory ceremony during school this fall put on by local Knights of Columbus members.