Area schools name their Athena Award winners

Top female student-athletes to be honored during 42nd annual Minneapolis luncheon May 2

For the 42nd consecutive year, one senior female was recognized as the Athena Award recipient from their respective high school.

All 53 honorees from public and private high schools around Minneapolis will gather for an awards luncheon at the Minneapolis Convention Center May 2.

Alexis Fritz (Anoka)

Fritz continues a list of successful distance athletes among the family earning 17 varsity levels including four most valuable honors as a four-time state cross country runner. She earned five all-Northwest Suburban Conference and section honors. Fritz served as captain of the section-winning team last fall, along with Lindsey Gast.


The two captains started  a shoe tree where teammates literally toss old running shoes into a tree, on the cross country course next to Anoka High School.

“Lindsey and I wrote a goofy ceremony speech for the first time we threw shoes up in it,” she said. “We wanted to start some new and different traditions to make the season more fun and memorable. Those goofy traditions are the things that really pulled us together.”

Fritz also earned five letters and one all-conference honor with the Nordic ski team.

She earned eight all-conference awards on the track and earned all-state honors as part of the 4×400 relay team at the state meet last June.

A top highlight for Fritz was being part of the section winning cross country team while captaining the team with her best friend,

Running on the state 4×400 relay team was another highlight.

Away from competition, Fritz is very involved in her church, leading and participating in community service activities.

“I have been going on many week-long mission trips since I was very young,” Fritz said about trips to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Chicago, Australia and South Africa.

She has participated at Feed My Starving Children and a homeless shelter help-out and worked at different races, triathlons and the nursery at church.

At school, Fritz served one year on the student council and two years with the S.T.A.R. program.

Sierra Langlie (Andover)

Langlie will try for her sixth trip to the state golf tournament this spring to complete one of the top prep careers in Andover’s golf program history.

She plans to golf at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. and major in business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

Langlie has qualified for the state golf tournament each year since seventh grade beginning with a 32nd place finish in what she listed on an award questionnaire as her top athletic accomplishment. She followed with state finishes of 12th, 14th, 10th and seventh and earned all-state honors twice.

Last season she won the section title after three straight fourth-place finishes.

Of course her favorite sports memory involved golf. As a 9-year-old, she was on a Golf Channel segment with John Harris called ‘Lessons with the Pros.’

Langlie also listed shooting a career-low even par on a par 72 course.Being part of the first girls hockey team from Andover to reach state is among her other athletic achievements.

She captained the girls hockey team for the last two seasons and helped Andover reach the state girls hockey tournament for the first time.

Kiersten Falck (Blaine)

Falck earned nine letters including four as a stand-out member and two-time captain of the hockey team.

She garnered seven all-Northwest Suburban Conference honors, four coming in hockey. She earned three conference honors in track along with two all-section awards.

Falck earned all-state honors in hockey and track and listed her all-state hockey nod as her top athletic achievement.

One of her superstitions is to eat the same frozen TV dinner before every game.

Away from competition, Falck volunteers at various places including Feed My Starving Children, Toys for Tots and McKinley Elementary.

Being part of the third-place 4×200 relay track team and fourth place in the state soccer tournament as the other two notable events.

Falck is one of four girls hockey players to sign to play division I hockey.

As a member of the National Honor Society, Academic All-State and Academic Letter, Falck plans to play hockey at Princeton University while majoring in Molecular Biology.

Amber Harris

 (Coon Rapids)

With 13 varsity letters from four sports, Amber Harris has experienced a lot of success over the last five years.

She earned five letters from hockey and was part of the last Cardinals team to not only play in the state tournament but finished third in Class AA and won the Northwest Suburban Conference and Section 5AA title.

She also earned five letters on the track team and a captain this spring. She was voted most valuable player twice, earned two all-Northwest Suburban Conference honors and is a two-time state meet participant.

Harris earned two letters with the tennis team and another letter with the cross country running team.

She listed her three most important sports achievements as the Cardinal Award, Coaches Award and Performance Award.


Away from competition, Harris volunteers at her church leading the elementary-aged kids and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

She hopes to major in kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Ryann Lynch 

(Spring Lake Park)

Ryann Lynch will have earned 10 varsity letters across three sports for the Panthers and her second with the lacrosse team after the spring season.

Lynch was a standout diver earning three team most valuable honors and captained the team last fall. She earned two all-conference and section honors and completed her senior diving with a 24th place finish at state.

She won each dual meet as a senior and plans to dive at the University of Minnesota Morris and major in biology with a pre-med focus.

Lynch also earned four varsity letters with the Irondale/Spring Lake Park gymnastics team. She earned two all-conference honors and helped lead the cooperative team to the North Suburban Conference championship this season.

She hopes to earn a second varsity letter with the varsity lacrosse team this spring.

Danae Douville 

(St. Francis)

As a three-sport standout (tennis, hockey and softball) Danae Douville earned 10 varsity letters including six as a member of the hockey team. She was a three-year captain for the Fighting Saints and earned one all-conference award winner.

Douville also captained the softball team and earned one all-conference honor and earned three varsity letters.

She also earned one letter with the tennis team but her favorite memories include playing hockey with her sister over three years and hitting the longest home run in the softball program history.

Away from sports, Douville has served on two mission trips, Youth Teaching Youth and Feed My Starving Children.

She is also a member of the National Honor Society and earned academic all-conference and all-state honors in tennis and hockey and is a four-year honor roll member.

She plans to study pre-law and Spanish on a full academic scholarship to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Jason Olson is at
[email protected]