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Kuemmel's Corner: Anna Keys Park's worthy Athena Award winner

Last week I had the privilege of attending the 20th-annual Athena Awards banquet. The St. Paul Area Athena Award committee honors the outstanding senior female athletes from over forty area high schools. There are winners there from every high school in the St. Paul area. Attending this banquet is one of the highlights of my school year.

Despite all of the many athletic accomplishments that I hear, the thing I am most impressed with is the accomplishments outside of athletics for each of the winners. These female student-athletes also excel in the classroom, are involved in various activities in their schools, and spend countless hours volunteering in their communities.

Each year, the committee of Park coaches that picks this award has a very difficult decision. We have many fine female student-athletes in our senior class. Park’s winner this year is Anna Keys. Anna was a four-time letter winner and three year starter in soccer, earning all-conference honorable mention honors. She was a five-time letter winner in hockey, earning all-conference honors twice, and honorable mention once. Keys won the Hobey Baker Character Award and was a three-time US National Camp participant. In golf, she was a four-time letter winner, earning three all-conference honors. Anna was a state meet participant and earned all-conference honors twice. She was a captain in all three of her sports. Ms. Keys received academic all-state honors as well earning three academic letters. She is also a Link Crew leader at Park.

Anna will attend Minnesota Stake Mankato University next fall on a hockey scholarship, where she will pursue a degree in nursing or education. Anna joins some great company - past winners of this award at Park include last year’s winner Larissa Lurken, Allie Morse, Briana Westlund, Jackie Voigt, and Marie Borner. Two of our current assistant coaches at Park are also former Athena winners: Kate Schwartz (soccer) and Ashley Homan (hockey and softball).

Congratulations to Anna and the other Athena winners. I know each of these girls will be successful in whatever they do. They should feel very proud of their accomplishments.

-Phil Kuemmel, Park High School Activities Director