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The WIAA announced that 16 senior girls and 16 senior boys were selected as finalists to receive the 2019 WIAA statewide scholar athlete award.

Area recipients include Middleton’s Kevin Meicher, Milton’s Chloe Buescher and Waunakee’s Reagan Hoopes in Division 1; and Lodi’s Owen Jelinek, River Valley’s Shane Liegel and McFarland’s Andrew Pahnke in Division 2.

The award was underwritten by Marshfield Children’s Hospital.

Four boys and four girls from each of four WIAA divisions were selected based on athletic and academic achievement.

More than 1,000 scholar-athlete finalists have been recognized since the program began in 1984.

“These extraordinary student-athletes excel in both academics and athletics,” WIAA assistant director Tom Shafranski said in a release from the WIAA. “Seventeen of this year’s 32 WIAA scholar-athlete finalists have a grade point average of 4.0 to date, while the average GPA is an amazing 3.95.

“All 32 scholar-athlete finalists have already earned a total of 295 varsity letters during their first 3½ years of high school. That’s an average of nine letters per athlete, and we have not yet completed our spring sports season.”

This year, 823 seniors were nominated for the 2019 WIAA scholar athlete award by 417 high schools throughout the state.

The 2019 WIAA scholar-athlete finalists, their families and school representatives will be recognized at an awards ceremony May 5 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau.

Each 2019 WIAA scholar-athlete finalist will receive a medallion and certificate, and will take with them a special plaque for display in their school’s trophy case.

According to the release, Lance Allan will serve as the keynote speaker.

He is the main sports anchor at Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV and co-host of Packers Live. He’s a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where he studied broadcast journalism.

Allan interned at WMTV, the Madison NBC affiliate before landing a position at WJFW-TV in Rhinelander. Allan then become weekend sports anchor at Green Bay's WFRV-TV, and after one year, he joined the sports team at WTMJ-TV.

He was named the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year in 2012 and 2005 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

2019 Scholar Athlete Recipients

DIVISION 1 – BOYS

Ryan Krueger, Marshfield High School

Kevin Meicher, Middleton High School

Austin Thyes, Sheboygan North High School

Malik Tiedt, Burlington High School

DIVISION 1 – GIRLS

Chloe Buescher, Milton High School

Zoe Goodmanson, Pewaukee High School

Reagan Hoopes, Waunakee High School

Kate Jochims, Muskego High School

DIVISION 2 – BOYS

Owen Jelinek, Lodi High School

Shane Liegel, River Valley High School

Andrew Pahnke, McFarland High School

Gervase Thompson IV, Northwestern High School

DIVISION 2 – GIRLS

Dana Feyen, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School

Madelyn Granica, Amery High School

Emily Neff, Hayward High School

Cassie Schiltz, Luxemburg-Casco High School

DIVISION 3 – BOYS

Cade Christensen, Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs High School

Dylan Schoenherr, Stratford High School

Grayson Vandenbush, Random Lake High School

David Vannucchi, Onalaska Luther High School*

DIVISION 3 – GIRLS

Tori Gerber, Cameron High School

Lydia Murphy, Lancaster High School

Alexis Rolph, Oshkosh Lourdes 

Megan Scheidt, La Crosse Aquinas High School

DIVISION 4 – BOYS

Lucas Bukowski, Green Bay NEW Lutheran High School*

Ty Guden, Edgar High School

Noah Kollock, Almond-Bancroft High School*

Jared Payne, Seneca High School

DIVISION 4 – GIRLS

Kenadi Diedrich, Athens High School

Kiana Fall, Clayton High School

Makaylee Kuhn, Hilbert High School

Ashlie Lockington, Bangor High School

*indicates that the student is that school’s first statewide winner.

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.