Wendy’s and 580 WIBW are proud to celebrate standout achievements in prep sports in the city of Topeka by naming our Athletes of the Week each week.

This week, we recognize Seaman senior distance runner Maliki Pope and Topeka High senior soccer player Lauren Dietrick.

Pope swept the two distance events at last Friday’s Topeka Relays, leading a 1-2-3 Viking sweep in the 1600 meters and also winning the 3200 meters. Pope has been a standout in cross country in his time at Seaman, medaling in the 5A state meet twice. He will run in college at Southwestern College in Winfield. We spoke to Maliki about his final track season, the differences between cross country and distance track events, why he chose Southwestern, and more.

Maliki Pope, Seaman track

Dietrick missed three games early this season for the Lady Trojans but has returned with a bang. She scored a hat trick in a victory over Highland Park and then tallied the only goal of the game in a 1-nil win over Cair Paravel. Dietrick is a two-time All-City and one-time All-League player and will sign this week to play at Washburn. We spoke to Lauren about her team’s strengths, remembering her first ever goal, her ties to Washburn, and more.

Lauren Dietrick, Topeka High soccer