Senior Athena Award winner announced

Soccer, track athlete Sam Baer receives recognition

After playing soccer and track throughout all of high school, senior Sam Baer said she felt honored to win the Athena Award and be recognized for her dedication.

The award recognizes senior female athletes from each school in the greater Minneapolis area for their achievements in one or several sports.

According to assistant athletic director Shawn Matthews, who runs the award process for the school, the nominees are chosen due to their athletic accomplishments.

“We go through previous records of how many times they’ve lettered, participated, been All Conference or All-Conference honorable mention, academic All-Conference and then we give (the players) each a point total,” Matthews said.

Baer said she lettered five times for track and four times in soccer. She said she also earned All-Conference three times for track and once for soccer.

According to Baer, the Athena Award is significant because it honors her successes.

“It’s an honor to win and it feels like all the work I’ve put in and all the things I’ve accomplished are being recognized. It feels really good,” Baer said.

Baer said she credits her win to her family, friends and coaches.

“I’ve had close friends who have been there through the hard times and same with my family. The coaches just taught me a lot about my sport. The coaches just taught me a lot about my sport, obviously, but also that I’m a lot more than just my sport. They helped me grow a lot as a person not just an athlete,” Baer said.

According to girls’ track head coach Christine Tvrdik, Baer deserves the award because of her commitment to the team.

“(Sam) has been a pretty big asset to the team. She’s a great kid and a hard worker. (She’s) always looking out for the lowerclassmen and setting a great example,” Tvrdik said.

According to Matthews, the points from the achievements combined with the votes received determine the winner.

Matthews said only senior girls who have lettered and girls’ team’s head coaches can vote.

Baer said she plans to continue her track career and possibly cross country at either University of Minnesota or St. Thomas University.