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Finalists for Detroit Athletic Club’s 2019 Michigan HS Athlete of the year announced at Breakfast of Champions

By: Matthew B. Mowery, March 20, 2019, 7:25 pm

The Detroit Athletic Club introduced its dozen finalists for the Michigan High School Athlete of the Year at the Breakfast of Champions on Wednesday, setting the stage for next month’s announcement of the two award winners.

The six girls finalists include:

• Julia Ayrault, basketball, Grosse Pointe North

• Madeline Chinn, volleyball, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep

• Jansen Eichenlaub, soccer and track, Birmingham Marian

• Danielle “Elle” Hartje, tennis, soccer and hockey, Detroit Country Day

• Rickea Jackson, basketball, Detroit Edison

Ashley Turak, swimming, Farmington Hills Harrison

The six boys finalists are:

• Heath Baldwin, football, along with track and field, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Preparatory

• Austin Brown, football, baseball, basketball, Madison Heights Madison

• Lance Dixon, football, West Bloomfield

• Nick Foster, cross country, Ann Arbor Pioneer

• Derek Maas, swimming, Holland West Ottawa

• Kendel Taylor, football and wrestling, Madison Heights Bishop Foley

The winners will be announced at the 23rd-annual event, scheduled for Monday, May 13. Guest speakers at the Athlete of the Year event — which will be live-streamed for the first time ever — include Peter Vanderkaay, the four-time Olympic medalist swimmer from Rochester Adams and the University of Michigan and former Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Mike Martin, who graduated from Novi Detroit Catholic Central and U-M. Former Detroit Pistons star Ben Wallace will be the keynote speaker.

A TV show with highlights of the event will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit the weekend following the event.

The award winners earn $5,000 scholarships from the DAC, while the remaining finalists get $1,000 scholarships.

To be eligible for the award, student athletes had to be a member of the senior class, with demonstrable excellence in athletics in MHSAA sanctioned sports, as well as a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, and a resume of citizenship (school leadership, community involvement and volunteerism).

Last year’s winners were Lansing Catholic’s cross country and track star Olivia Theis and Dearborn Divine Child lacrosse and football star Aidan Hutchinson.

Other past winners include:

Monroe St. Mary CC Meghan Beaubien (U-M softball), Detroit U-D Jesuit’s Cassius Winston (MSU men’s basketball), Fowlerville’s Adam Coon (U-M wrestling), Detroit Country Day’s Shane Battier (Duke basketball/NBA) and Canton’s Allison Schmitt (Georgia swimming/Olympics).