Steamboat athletes receive academic honors

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— The Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team got its state championship.

Although the girls didn't win the Class 4A title on the field, they won a team title somewhere more important -- in the classroom.

The Colorado High School Activities Association recently named the Sailors the Academic Team Champion, meaning that as a team, they had the highest cumulative GPA among all Colorado 4A girls soccer programs.

Conifer tied Steamboat with a team GPA of 3.64 on a 4.0 scale.

"I think it's a huge deal," Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said. "It's a reflection, first and foremost, of the individuals. They are all very involved and very intelligent. I think it reflects on the Steamboat high school as whole. Everybody is able to do their part to create an environment to have successful students in the classroom and successful students on the field."

The team also won its fourth straight Western Slope League championship this spring. Members of the Academic State Championship team are Siara Atkinson, Ann Barney, Jessica Dover, Carly Earp, Haley Gallagher, Casey Garth, Elizabeth Handing, Sara Handing, Shannon King, Kelly Labor, Lauren Letson, Kathleen Lyon, Angela Palaniuk, Jessica Peters, Kirsten Ryan, Betty Sasak and Miranda Schrock.

In all, 50 Steamboat high school juniors and seniors were named to academic All-State teams for the season.

In addition to the individuals honored by CHSAA, Steamboat's girls soccer, girls tennis, girls lacrosse, boys lacrosse and the track and field team received awards for maintaining cumulative team GPAs of 3.2 or higher.

"The Academic All-State program continues to showcase the impressive students we have in our programs," CHSAA Commissioner Bill Reader said. "This program is one of just a few that honors those special individuals who have succeeded in the classroom as well as in their chosen activities."

The Steamboat girls soccer team will receive a plaque for its state academic championship, and each player on the varsity team received a certificate.

The individuals named first-team or honorable mention All-State also will receive certificates.

To be a first-team All-State selection, an athlete had to be a junior or senior and maintain at least a 3.6 GPA. Honorable mention selections had to maintain between a 3.3 and a 3.59 GPA.

The CHSAA program honoring academics and athletics is in its 12th year.

"We know through a myriad of research that those students who participate in high school activities are more likely to remain in school, miss fewer days and enjoy greater success in life," Reader said. "A Colorado study shows that the average participant in our state holds a 3.06 GPA. Interscholastic activities are a critical ingredient in the education of our young people."

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