Foothill High's Sophia Brown has been honored as the state's female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2016.
Brown, a senior who has starred on the Falcons' basketball and lacrosse teams, joined male winner Kelly Blake from Loyola High School (Los Angeles) as the recipients of the statewide award presented by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and Farmers Insurance.
The scholarship award, in its 35th year, identifies student-athletes who excel in the classroom and in athletics, and are strong contributors to their schools and communities. Brown and Blake are set to receive $5,000 scholarships and be honored at the State Capitol on May 26.
"Now, as the end of my high school career approaches, I learned through retrospect that my proudest accomplishments were achieved by emulating those more successful than I," Brown said in a statement.
"Thanks to those preceding me, I pushed myself to realize my potential, and now it is my turn to inspire those following me," she added. "It is, and always has been, my ultimate goal to better myself in order to inspire others to do the same."
Brown is a four-year member of the basketball and lacrosse teams at Foothill, serving as team captain on both squads as a senior. She also excels in soccer, as she is a member and team captain of RAGE Soccer Club.
She will attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to play soccer in the fall and to major in aerospace engineering.
For her accomplishments in the classroom, Brown has earned National Merit Scholar Commendation, as well as AP Scholar with distinction recognition. She is also involved in her school as student body president and previously serving as class president.
"Sophia is a hardworking, compassionate and intelligent student who serves as a model for all students at Foothill High School," principal Jason Krolikowski said.
"I hold Sophia in the highest regard for her maturity and ability to relate to others in a responsible, adult manner," the principal added. "She is devoted and committed to her work with and excellent work ethic. Sophia exemplifies the 'Six Pillars of Character' by being her toughest critic and a willingness to always get better."
Foothill athletic director Dustin Collins concurred, saying, "Sophia is one of the best examples of a student-athlete I have encountered in my 20 years of teaching and coaching. She is an outstanding classmate and teammate who has shown her peers what it takes to be a true leader."
Brown and Blake were selected from a pool of 400 candidates representing 1,576 CIF member schools statewide. The CIF also recognized 20 other standouts at the local section level.
"The students of California and our CIF scholar-athletes continue to confirm for all of us involved in education-based athletics that the future is bright," CIF executive director Roger L. Blake said. "There were an exceptional group of nominees this year, and I want to congratulate all of them and thank them for their contributions to their local school community."
Swimming and diving
It was senior day for 19 swimmers and divers at Foothill last Friday, but it was also a day the boys and girls ended the dual meet season by knocking off crosstown rival Amador Valley.
Two of Foothill's seniors will be competing in NCAA Division I programs next year: Ryane Skinner at Pepperdine and Kennedy Truex at Michigan State.
Securing victories for the Falcons on Friday were:
* Varsity girls: 200 medley relay (Truex, Skinner, Hailey Morse, Paige Heacox); Isla Andrews, diving; Truex, 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke; 200 free relay (Skinner, Lauren Dennen, Elisabeth Balicanta, Maddie David); and 400 free relay (David, Heacox, Balicanta, Truex).
* Varsity boys: 200 medley relay (Jonah Cooper, Jonathan Mui, Joe Schafer, Aaron Li); Calvin David, 200 and 500 free; Li, 50 free; Rob Harries, diving; and Cooper, 100 back and 100 butterfly.
* Junior varsity girls: Emiko Tsutumi, 100 individual medley.
* JV boys: Andy Tran, 100 free and Raymond Gu, 100 breast.