Area athletes named Athena Award winners

Sports Reporter
Sam is the sports reporter for ABC Newspapers, covering high school, junior college and community sports in the area. He joined the staff in October 2016.

The 45th Annual Minneapolis Athena Awards will be presented May 5 at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington. The Awards Luncheon offers an opportunity to encourage and recognize the achievements of young female athletes from public and private high schools in the greater Minneapolis area.

Schools select recipients because of excellence in individual or team sports. The Minneapolis

Athena Awards Committee will honor 56 senior high school women this year.

Below is a list of area winners:

Andover – Joli Daninger

Four-time varsity letterwinner in soccer, basketball and track & field

List your 3 most important sports achievements or accomplishments:

  1. Broke 13 game, season and career basketball records
  2. Made it to state in all three sports at least twice
  3. Played on varsity in all three sports all four years

Personal: Your favorite or earliest sports memory or anything unusual about yourself:

I gave my career scoring record breaking game basketball to my Grandpa who loved coming to my games and was battling cancer.

School/Community Activities other than sports:                                     

Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, Church Youth group, Link Crew

Scholastic Achievements:

National Honors Society, Academic All State, AP Scholar Award, Highest honor roll every semester all 4 years, 4.18 weighted GPA

Post High School Plans:

Basketball Scholarship at DePaul University majoring in Communications

Anoka – Alyssa Wicks

Four-time varsity letterwinner in tennis, three-time in softball and once in basketball

List your 3 most important sports achievements or accomplishments:

  1. Being a part of Anoka’s first softball team to make it to state in 2014, and finishing 3rd in the state tournament
  2. Going 15 for 15 in at bats over four games in section semifinals and finals junior year
  3. Winning two deciding tennis matches during sections to advance our team to the section semifinals for the first time since 1998

Personal: Your favorite or earliest sports memory or anything unusual about yourself:

I tripped on first base on one of my first over-the-fence homeruns and landed on my face.

School/Community Activities other than sports:                                   

Student Council, Knowledge Bowl, National Honor Society, Band, Orchestra, Speech, Tornado Force Strength and Conditioning, Anoka County Library Volunteer                               

Scholastic Achievements:

Academic All State Tennis, Gold Team Academic All State Tennis (9-12) and Basketball (10), National Honor Society, State Finalist MSHSL Triple ‘A’ Award, Wendy’s Heisman State Finalist                                        

Post High School Plans:

Pre-pharmacy at undecided college

Blaine – Emily Brown  

Four-time varsity letterwinner in soccer, hockey and track and field

List your 3 most important sports achievements or accomplishments:

  1. 2016 IIHF U-18 Women’s Ice Hockey World Champion’s – Team USA
  2. 2015 Hockey State Tournament Consolation Champs, 2017 Hockey State Tournament runner-up, and 2015 Soccer State Tournament participant
  3. 2017 Herb Brooks Award Winner

Personal: Your favorite or earliest sports memory or anything unusual about yourself:

When I was in mite hockey, I swallowed my tooth at a faceoff and continued to play for the rest of the game.

School/Community Activities other than sports:                                   

Bengal Pride Captain (Freshman welcome group), volunteer through Feed My Starving Children, Hamilton Elementary, Hope 4 Youth Donation Center, Salvation Army, Comfort First Assisted Living, St. Jude’s, Blaine Youth Hockey Association and Special Olympics.

Scholastic Achievements:

National Honor Society Member, Track Academic All-State 2015 and 2016, Hockey Academic All-State 2017, Hockey Academic Section Champions 2014, 4.0 unweighted and 4.2 weighted GPA, number 1 in class.               

Post High School Plans:

Attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities to play hockey and major in Mechanical Engineering.

Coon Rapids – Bryna DelCastillo

Five-time varsity letterwinner in cross country and track and field, four-time in hockey

List your 3 most important sports achievements or accomplishments:

  1. Running in the state cross country meet in 2013.
  2. Being a three-sport captain
  3. Fifth all time assist leader in hockey for Coon Rapids

Personal: Your favorite or earliest sports memory or anything unusual about yourself:

I decided to pick the number 10 for my jersey number because my dad was number 10 in college hockey. I have five sisters who also all play or played hockey.

School/Community Activities other than sports:                                   

Senior Leaders

Post High School Plans:

Play hockey at either Hamline University or St. Mary’s University, undecided major.

Spring Lake Park – Hannah Schultz

Five-time varsity letterwinner in soccer and hockey, three-time in lacrosse and once in track and field

List your 3 most important sports achievements or accomplishments:

  1. 2016 Top scoring defensemen in the state for hockey
  2. 2017 All Metro 3rd Team selection for hockey
  3. 2017 All State Honorable Mention award winner for hockey

Personal: Your favorite or earliest sports memory or anything unusual about yourself:

I color in my children’s coloring book before every game to calm my nerves.

School/Community Activities other than sports:                                   

Panther Mentor, National Honors Society member, and frequent volunteer at Feed My Starving Children

Scholastic Achievements:

National Honors Society

Post High School Plans:

I plan on attending Union College in Schenectady, NY to play Division I hockey, and plan on majoring in either Education or Psychology.

St. Francis – Amanda Anderson

Five-time varsity letterwinner in track and field and four-time in volleyball and weightlifting

List your 3 most important sports achievements or accomplishments:

  1. 2016 state discus champion
  2. 2017 high school state powerlifting champion
  3. 2016 volleyball captain

Personal: Your favorite or earliest sports memory or anything unusual about yourself:

I had a teammate four years older than me, Maggie Ewen who was a seven-time state champion in throwing as well as has state record in discus. She is the reason I started throwing. After seeing how successful she was I wanted to be just like her and am lucky to have been able to compete with her for two years of my throwing career. Since she graduated I have been called Mini Mags after her and am proud to continue her legacy of great throwers from St. Francis High School.

School/Community Activities other than sports:                                   

Youth Teaching Youth, St. Francis Community for Drug Awareness, work at kids connection childcare.

Scholastic Achievements:

National Honor Society, Academic All-State in volleyball and Track, Academic letter

Post High School Plans:

Attend North Dakota State University and compete on their track and field team. Plan to study physical education