Six exceptional female student-athletes — one from each of Anoka-Hennepin’s six traditional high schools — have been named Athena Award winners for the 2019-20 school year. The district serves 13 communities in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis/ St. Paul. The annual Athena Award honors outstanding female high school senior student athletes from metro-area schools for their athletic achievements. The award is based on excellence in individual sports or for participation and accomplishments in team sports.
It’s been quite a year for Jamie and the Andover Girls Hockey Team who won the Herb Brooks Holiday Classic and the State Championship. Nelson participated in hockey, tennis and lacrosse at Andover where she is a multi-year letter winner. She was named the team captain of the hockey and tennis teams. Nelson has twice been named all-state in hockey and will continue her hockey career at the Division I level at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The full-time PSEO student shouldn’t have a problem being a student-athlete next year at MSU.
Anoka High School: Maddie Mashuga
Mashuga is a three-sport athlete at AHS, where she’s competed in soccer and golf. But she’s probably best known for being one of the top hockey players in the state with over 120 points during her high school career. She committed to Minnesota State University, Mankato, to play Division I hockey.
A leader and three-sport athlete, the two-time state champion in high jumping plans to attend Notre Dame in 2021. She’ll continue to run track in South Bend and hopes to major in biochemistry or chemistry. This year she served as captain of the volleyball team and has years of experience playing high school basketball.
Johnson is a member of the swimming and track and field teams at Champlin. She has lettered seven times and has qualified for the state swimming championships four times. Johnson currently holds the school’s record in the 50-yard freestyle, the 200-medley relay and 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Johnson will attend the University of Minnesota where she plans to major in chemical engineering.
Another multi-year letter winner, Deters will join the Hamline University track and field team for the 2021 season. Being named Coon Rapid’s Athena Award winner means a lot. “All the hard work, the blood sweat and tears, long nights and even all those losses I had, have been worth it in the end,” Deters said. Deters is a member of the volleyball, gymnastics and track and field teams at CRHS. She was nominated as a team captain of the track and field team for the 2020 season and was twice named the team’s top thrower in the shot put.
Spring Lake Park High School: Alexie Stephani
Alexie received direct admittance into the nursing school at Viterbo University after previously earning her CNA license while in high school. Her most important school sports achievements consist of holding the school’s record for the 4×100 meter relay alongside her younger sister, Addison. A longtime standout in both soccer and track and field, Stephani has earned nine varsity letters, seven conference awards, served as captain three times and has a series of top-five marks in school history. Alexie will attend the university on a soccer scholarship and track and field scholarship.
These girls and the entire class of 2020 will go on to do amazing things. They’ll go on to lead on and off the field, work with others to find a common goal and challenge others to change the world for the better.