Anna Keith honored with Athena Award

Senior receives recognition for athletic career

Senior+Anna+Keith+competes+in+the+five-kilometer+race+at+the+Roy+Griak+Invitational+Sep+28.+The+Athena+Award+honors+outstanding+female+high+school+senior+student+athletes.

Ayelet Prottas

Senior Anna Keith competes in the five-kilometer race at the Roy Griak Invitational Sep 28. The Athena Award honors outstanding female high school senior student athletes.

Tenzin Gyaldatsang

Every year, an outstanding female high school student athlete is awarded the Athena Award, and when senior Anna Keith found out she had won the award, she said she was excited.

“Honestly, I was surprised. I thought personally I wouldn’t be the one winning. I thought it would be other girls winning because there is a lot of great talent within the female sports,” Keith said.

The Athena Awards Luncheon, which was scheduled May 8, was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Athena Committee plans on making a plaque and memory book to honor the athletes instead.

According to Keith, participating in sports has helped her learn important skills needed for athletics. Keith participated in tennis, basketball, track and field and cross country.

“It developed me as an athlete and I experienced many different things. It increased my mental toughness, my competitiveness and my desire to continue sports,” Keith said

Hurdles and horizontal jumps coach Christine Tvrdik said she was enthusiastic when she heard Keith had won.

“I was super excited when I found out that Anna won the award,” Tvrdik said. “She has been one of my favorite athletes to coach over the last 12 years.”

Keith credits her father for encouraging her to participate in sports, specifically track.

“I actually got into sports because of my dad, Rich Keith. He was the one who pushed me to go out for track, which led to me participating in cross country, tennis and basketball,” Keith said.

Keith said her favorite part of her athletic career at Park was building connections with her teammates. 

“Probably just all the relationships I’ve formed,” Keith said. “All the practice and hard work paid off in whatever I was doing, whether it was basketball, track or cross country.”

Tvrdik said Keith is deserving of the award because of her determination and will to win. 

“Anna is extremely competitive with herself and her own goals as well as against her competition. She is super gritty and will go out and do what she has to do to be successful. I’ve always enjoyed watching her compete because she’s not afraid to push outside of her comfort zone and race,” Tvrdik said.

As a student athlete, Keith said she learned how to balance school, work and sports.

“School was a top priority but also sports,” Keith said. “It took all the stress away and it was just a way for me to escape all the stress that school puts on you.”

After high school, Keith said she isn’t planning on participating competitively for sports.