Edmonds School District honors its top student-athletes

EDMONDS — Grace Douglas has had a busy four years.

The Lynnwood High School student-athlete has earned 12 varsity letters and gone to the 4A state basketball tournament while maintaining a 3.97 grade point average.

So Douglas is taking a well-deserved break and heading to Hawaii.

Douglas, the top award winner at the 13th Annual Edmonds School District Scholar-Athlete and Coach/Community Recognition Banquet Tuesday night at Edmonds-Woodway High School, is celebrating a successful run at Lynnwood with a vacation to Hawaii with fellow Royal star athlete Jasmin Edwards.

“This is all just so great,” Douglas said. “This is an incredible honor. I can’t believe it. This just feels so amazing.”

The Edmonds School District’s annual program honored 17 students who excel in sports and in the classrooms in the four ESD high schools — Meadowdale, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Edmonds-Woodway. It also recognized a coach and a community member from each school.

Douglas, who earned the night’s top scholarship award of $4,500, has earned 12 varsity letters, including four in track and basketball, three in volleyball and one in sports medicine. In basketball Douglas, along with fellow honoree Jasmin Edwards, helped the Royals win Wesco regular-season titles all four years, the district championship her final two seasons and led Lynnwood to a third-place finish at this year’s state tournament — the best finish in school history.

This weekend Douglas returns to the state track and field meet where she finished fifth in the 4×400 relay in 2013. She plans to attend Whitworth University and study either education or physical therapy.

She recommends keeping a full schedule to be successful.

“Stay busy,” Douglas said, “and keep your priorities straight. Grades are No. 1 for sure. Just have high expectations for yourself. Keeping yourself busy keeps you organized.”

Douglas wasn’t the only one in attendance with little free time. Edmonds-Woodway’s Djenne Dickens, who won a $4,000 scholarship, qualified for the state swimming and track and field meets all four years as a Warrior. Her six state track and field medals are the most in school history, and Dickens will have a chance to add three more to her total at this weekend’s state meet.

Through all of that, Dickens, who will attend Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA.

“A lot of it is go, go, go. But we do get free time occasionally,” Dickens said. “… I just feel really thankful.”

Meadowdale’s Chikodinaka Ezeokeke, who won the other $4,000 scholarship, was on the Mavericks’ cross country, basketball and track and field teams. He said his biggest accomplishment was helping the Meadowdale basketball team get back to .500.

Ezeokeke, who won the 2013 cross country team’s Most Improved and Most Dedicated awards, has a 3.84 GPA and will attend the University of Washington.

The Meadowdale senior encourages all high school students to keep their eyes open for opportunities.

“Try everything,” Ezeokeke said. “I met a cross country captain and he ended up getting me on the right track.”

Along with Ezeokeke, Meadowdale High’s honored student athletes included Josiah Evans, Megan Hoppe and Annelise Blanchard, whose sister accepted the award on her behalf because Blanchard is away prepping for the state golf tournament, which begins today.

David Vo, Ryan Tsuji, Kayla Schmidt, Douglas and Edwards were those honored from Lynnwood High. Mountlake Terrace High’s top student athletes included Greg Bowman, Brittany Kinsella, Maddy Kristjanson and Jack Pearce.

Edmonds-Woodway High celebrated the accomplishments of Tate Budnick, Dickens, Savanah Van Citters and Travis Bakken.

Honorees

Lynnwood — Athletes: Grace Douglas, David Vo, Ryan Tsuji, Jasmin Edwards, Kayla Schmidt. Community member: Tami Salvati. Coach: Sara Hall.

Edmonds-Woodway — Athletes: Tate Budnick, Djenne Dickens, Savanah Van Citters, Travis Bakken. Community member: Chris Thuesen. Coach: Dan Somoza.

Meadowdale — Athletes: Megan Hoppe, Josiah Evans, Chikodinaka Ezeokeke, Annelise Blanchard. Community member: Debra Davenport. Coach: Kimberly Berry

Mountlake Terrace – Athletes: Greg Bowman, Brittany Kinsella, Maddy Kristjanson, Jack Pearce. Community member: Lynn Baisch. Coach: Nalin Sood.

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