Faces in KS: Andrew Henn

Andrew Henn of Paola is one of the top javelin throwers in the country (photo: Lisa Gerken)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Feb 4, 2014

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The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) State Outdoor Track Meet in May is one of the most exciting events in all of Kansas. Every year nearly 25,000-30,000 come to Wichita to see and/or participate in this event, which is the nations largest outdoor track and field meet at the high school level. All classifications in Kansas are represented and it's definitely something to remember for every athlete who has ever competed in it. One of the most exciting athletes at this meet last year was Andrew Henn of Paola. 

Henn, now a senior at Paola HS, took first in the 4A javelin last year with a throw of 191'5". He is now one of the top returning javelin throwers in the country. His mark ranked third in all of Kansas last season and in the top 50 nationally. Henn also won the prestigious Kansas Relays and Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque last season. He also placed eighth in the nation at the US Outdoor in Des Moines last summer. Henn has already qualified for the state track meet in his three seasons, taking sixth as a freshman, second as a sophomore, and winning it all last season as a junior. 

Henn will compete in the javelin next season at the University of Arkansas. Arkansas is a national power on the track and field scene with some of the best indoor and outdoor facilities in the nation. The Razorbacks have won 10 national titles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since 1985. Just three years ago, Henn picked up his first javelin, now he's one of the top senior throwers in the country that's headed to one of the most dominant track and field program's. 

Henn also served as the quarterback on the football team this past fall. He helped lead the Panthers to a sub-state runner-up finish in the very loaded 4A classification in Kansas. He has earned all-league as a quarterback twice, and once as a punter over his career. He is also a captain on the Panthers basketball team. 

Look for Henn to put up big marks this spring as he will look to defend his 4A state title from a year ago. We caught up with the future Razorback below...

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Q&A w/ Andrew Henn of Paola

How did you get involved in athletics?

My brother was very involved in football, basketball, track, and baseball. So I was always at his games and events. My father was a principal at my high school, so I was always around at athletic events even before my brother was participating in them.

When did you first start throwing the javelin?

First started throwing javelin freshman year.

What do you do year round to train for the javelin?

In the offseason, I lift, do medicine ball workouts, and throw turbo javelins inside. During the summer I have thrown at meets across the nation. I threw at the Great Southwest Meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the US Outdoors in Des Moines, Iowa to name a few.

Did you ever dream you would be throwing at one of the best track and field programs in the country?

No, when I was little I always dreamed of playing college football or basketball. I never thought I would have the opportunity to compete at a prestigious track and field school. Initially, track was a sport to prepare me for football and basketball. However, my assistant principal, Frank Perbeck (Threw at Kansas State University) talked me into coming out and throwing. It just happened to work out that I succeeded in this event. I am blessed to have this opportunity to go throw at the University of Arkansas.

Why did you choose Arkansas, what was the main thing that influenced your decision?

I chose Arkansas first for their academics. They are ranked 27th nationally for public business schools. Another big influence was the facilities and success of the track team. You do not come around facilities and coaches like theirs very often.

How do other sports help make you a better athlete?

Other sports have helped me become well rounded as an athlete. They taught me how to compete, be successful, and adapt to multiple situations, within the game or event. I have also been able to develop leadership skills through each sport whether it is on the field or the court.

Any other javelin throwers to watch out for this season in Kansas?

With the meets that we have scheduled including the Pitt State Invitational and the KU Relays to name a few I can never take a week off. I always have to bring my “A” game. 

What is your goal this year for track and field ?

My goal this year is to hit over 200 ft. Then at state I want to take a shot at the state record of 208-07. Another goal is to be a repeat KU Relays Champion and a repeat State Champion.

What is it like to grow up in Paola?

Growing up in Paola, was different for me than most kids. I was the principals son so eyes were always on me. The town itself always comes out to support athletics, and it has shown in our success. We always have a big crowd at home events, and always have some who travel with us. Whether its our boys track team winning back to back state championships or in football going to sub state the past 4 out or 5 years. We have had success. 

You guys had a great run in football this year, talk about that?

Our run in football was definitely one to remember. We had a well rounded team that came together as a family. Unfortunately we came up a game short, but we couldn’t ask for any better circumstances. Getting to play on our home field in front of our community was a dream come true.

Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school is math. My dad was a math teacher before he became an administrator so it comes pretty easy to me. It is my favorite since I know I can always get an exact answer unlike English where it is subjective.

How would you rank the experience at the Kansas State High School track and field meet?

The experience of the Kansas State Track meet is unimaginable. I think we are one of the only state’s who has all of their schools compete in the same stadium. Being able to see six finals of every event is insane. On Saturday the day of finals, seeing about 10,000 people in the grand stands including athletes is like nothing else. Everyone is wanting to see records broken so when when someone has a chance to break one everyone is up cheering for them. The announcers at the meet do a great job of highlighting exciting stats.

Favorite twitter handle?

Favorite twitter handle @sportsinkansas. Getting to see and hear about all the great athletes in this state is awesome.

What is one thing that nobody would know about you?

I was in gymnastics when I was little, which has led to helping me in all sports by increasing my flexibility.

 

 

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