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Meet the 2020 finalists for the Detroit Athletic Club’s Michigan High School Athlete of the Year awards

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, March 31, 2020, 11:35 am

Late last week, STATE CHAMPS! helped the Detroit Athletic Club unveil its finalists for the 2020 Michigan High School Athlete of the Year awards.

With a record number of applicants (112), the competition was fierce, but these athletes are all used to that. 

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: Rickea Jackson (Detroit Edison basketball) and Kendel Taylor (Madison Heights Bishop Foley football, wrestling, lacrosse and track and field).

The DAC awards began in 1996, and 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).

This year’s finalists are below.

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FEMALE NOMINEES

Kathryn Ackerman, Grand Haven

Sport: Swimming

GPA: 4.1

Resume: 2017, 2018 and 2019 MISCA Dream Teamer, state record-holder in the 200 individual medley, 2019 Junior National Champion (400 IM), five career individual titles.

College: Michigan

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Gabrielle Elliott, Detroit Edison

Sport: Basketball

GPA: 3.3

Resume: Three-time state champion, 2020 BCAM Miss Basketball, ranked the No. 6 wing recruit in the nation by ESPN.

College: Clemson

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Avery Fenchel, Novi

Sport: Soccer

GPA: 4.0

Resume: Two-time state champion (2019 team was ranked No. 1 in the nation), 2019 All-American, 2019 MIHSSCA Dream Teamer

College: Ball State

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Sophie Housey, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett

Sport: Swimming

GPA: 3.8

Resume: Two-time state champion in 2018 (100 and 200 freestyle), 2018 Dream Teamer, owns CHSL backstroke record, 2018 MISCA Dream Teamer

College: Michigan

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Jess Mruzik, Farmington Hills Mercy

Sport: Volleyball

GPA: 3.47

Resume: 2019 D1 state champion, Captain of USA Volleyball National Team, 2019 U18 World Championships Tourney MVP, 2019 Michigan Miss Volleyball, 2020 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year

College: Michigan (early enrollee)

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Gabrianna Salo, Escanaba

Sport: Softball

GPA: 3.99

Resume: Two-time state champion, three-time first-team all-stater, 2019 STATE CHAMPS! Total Softball Player of the Year (2018 runner-up)

College: Wisconsin

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MALE NOMINEES

Luke Baylis, Clarkston

Sport: Tennis

GPA: 4.18

Resume: 2019 Mr. Tennis, D1 state champion at No. 1 singles in 2019, 29-1 record as a senior, four-time first-team all-state honors.

College: Michigan State

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Hunter Hollenbeck, Okemos

Sport: Diving

GPA: 4.0

Resume: State champion in 2018 and 2019, broke a 38-year-old pool record at regionals

College: Stanford

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Jason Kemp, Troy Athens

Sport: Soccer, baseball

GPA: 4.0

Resume: 2019 D1 state champion (15 shutouts), 2019 All-American, 2019 MIHSSCA Dream Teamer

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Cameron Martinez, Muskegon

Sport: Football

GPA: 3.63

Resume: Two-time D3 runner-up, 11th on MHSAA all-time rushing list, 2019 STATE CHAMPS! Mr. Football, 2018 and 2019 MLive Media Player of the Year, 2019 Gatorade Michigan Football Player of the Year

College: Ohio State

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Carter Solomon, Plymouth

Sport: Cross country, track and field

GPA: 3.74

Resume: 2018 D1 team state champion, 2019 D1 cross country individual state champion (unbeaten as a senior in 13 races), 2nd at 2019 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, posted the state’s fastest 5K time in 2019. 

College: Notre Dame

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Dylan Targgart, Coldwater

Sport: Track and field

GPA: 4.28

Resume: 2019 and 2019 D2 state champion in both discus and shot put, state record holder in shot put for D2 (66-feet-7.5)

College: South Carolina

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