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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Standout wheelchair track athlete reminisces on an incredible high school career at Wichita Heights

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Grant Pierce has drawn many crowds throughout his impressive track career at Wichita Heights High School. He’s taking it all in ahead of his final high school meet.

“I’m really just looking to pr, do my best because I know I’m going to have a lot of people out there watching me,” explains the Pierce. The senior holds Kansas state records in the 100m, 400m, 1600m, and 3200m wheelchair events.

Grant Pierce (KSN Photo)

“He can’t really have a better career than what he’s had, so this is just kind of the happy ending to his four years of high school track,” says Wichita Heights Coach Brandon McMillen. “He’s as top tier as any other top tier athlete can be. He knows what he’s capable of, and when he sets his goals, he will work until that goal is met and then pick the next goal.”

Pierce has accomplished many goals… but the most valuable was making a name for himself every time he’s on the track. Earlier this season, he became the first wheelchair athlete to compete at The Kansas Relays.

“In the future, they’re going to try to open it up for more events for wheelchairs, so I’m really excited about that opportunity. Everyone has the right to compete, everyone has a right to be an athlete, and I think everyone should have the same opportunities that are given to other people,” says Pierce.

Now, he’s looking to inspire on the next level with a scholarship to the University of Illinois. The senior at Northeast Magnet High School plans to major in biology this upcoming fall.

Grant Pierce (KSN Photo)

“They passed a bill for wheelchair athletes to compete in the NCAA circuit, so I will be at NCAA meets and NCAA championships,” says Pierce.

He is looking forward to more opportunities to represent Team USA and also sees himself winning gold at an international competition. A vision that wouldn’t exist without his teammates at Wichita Heights.

“I don’t know if I would still be doing track if it weren’t for the experience and community that comes with being on a high school team. Just the inclusiveness and amount of fun I’ve had being on a high school team. There’s nothing else like it, really,” says Pierce.

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