Truckee High School announced its awards and scholarships on Wednesday night at its annual Evening of Excellence affair, demonstrating once again the amazing connection between Nordic skiing and educational accomplishments. The top honors in the school — based on grade point average — went to 4 cross country skiers. Tied for Valedictorian (the top grades of the senior class) are Natalie Cutler and Annika Deurlington, both of them veterans of the Far West and Truckee High Nordic Ski Teams. Close behind in GPA, and co-winners of the Salutatorian honors, are Erica Larusson and Annika Taylor. Those four will be giving speeches at the Graduation ceremonies on Saturday. 2 other Far West Nordic veterans receiving honors and scholarships this night were Justin Ondry, winner of multiple Truckee High academic awards, and Rachell Nadell, the recipient of both academic scholarships and music achievement awards.
All of these awards illustrate once again the remarkable relationship that is formed by combining the discipline and hard work of cross country ski training and academic excellence. As an aside, a quick count of students receiving the President’s Gold Certificate Education Award of combining a high (over 3.5) GPA with a superior score on the SAT/ACT tests showed that over one third (11 out of 29) had been a member of a Nordic ski team at either the middle school or high school level. An inspiring thought for parents who are considering the benefits of having their young athletes choose cross country skiing as an outlet for their sports endeavors.