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Meet Muskegon-area Hall of Fame’s 2022 Scholar-Athlete Award female nominees

Western Michigan Christian’s Abby Vander Kooi sets the tone.

RELATED: See the achievements of the nominees on the boys side

MUSKEGON — Annually, a Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame panel selects Scholar-Athlete Award finalists and winners from a list of nominees submitted by area schools.

One senior female and one senior male from each Muskegon-area school is nominated for the award.

Scholar-Athlete Award winners for 2022 will be honored during the Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony and banquet Saturday, June 18, at Trinity Health Arena in downtown Muskegon.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet are available to the public and cost $40. You maybe purchase tickets by CLICKING HERE.

Here are the female Scholar-Athlete Award nominees, the finalists and the award winner for 2022:

Notes:

  • The numbers next to sports listed denote years of high school participation in that sport, not varsity letters.
  • Muskegon Heights Academy did not submit male or female nominees.
  • Grant did not submit a male nominee.
  • Some accomplishments may not be updated because of when nominations were submitted.
  • Josh VanDyke contributed to these capsules.

AWARD WINNER

Abby Vander Kooi, Western Michigan Christian

GPA: 4.099 (weighted)

Athletic awards/honors: 4-time GMAA champion, 4-time MHSAA regional champion, 4-time MHSAA state champion in cross country, member of the 2021 and 2022 D4 state championship team for the Warriors, which were the first state titles for any girls varsity sport at WMC; D3 girls course record holder at the MHSAA state finals, also holds three of the top 10 marks in the history of the D4 state finals, holds the 10th best time mark all-time regardless of division at the state finals; school recorded holder with a time of 16:48.8 in 2020; a 3-time participant in the Footlocker National Cross Country race, finishing third overall in 2018 and 2019. Her time of 16:55 in 2019 was the 9th fastest time in the event’s history; 2-time MITCA Girls Cross Country Dream Team (2018, 2020); 2-time Gatorade Michigan Girls cross country Athlete of the Year (2018, 2020) …2-time Lakes 8 champion in the 1,600-meter run (2019, 2022) and 3,200-meter run (2021, 2022), 3-time regional champion in the 3,200-meter run (2019, 2021, 2022), regional champion in the 1,600-meter run (2022), 3-time state champion in the 3,200 run (2019, 2021, 2022), GMAA champion in the 3,200-meter run (2019), GMAA record holder in the 3,200 run, WMC school record holder in the 800-meter run (2:20.76), 1,600-meter run (4:57.93), 3,200-meter run (10:29.63) and distance medley relay (13:10.58)…VanderKooi was also a finalist for the 2022 Detroit Athletic Club’s High School Athlete of the Year award.

Academic awards/honors: Academic Top 10 in her class at WMC; Gold cord honor at graduation (75+ service hours/3.7+ GPA); 3-time MITCA Academic All-State in Track and Field; 4-time MITCA Academic All-State in cross country;

Extracurricular activities: Volunteers at a local food truck on Wednesday mornings; bakes and serves snacks at her local church; spends time volunteering at the church’s nursery; babysits two foster children in her spare time; school chapel leader, singer, and part of the song selection team at WMC; leads a group of girls with their faith in Christ as a small group leader at WMC; sings at church; plays piano in church, and has raised more than $500 for Project Grace at WMC; involved in chamber choir for three years; women’s choir for one year; part of the team of youth group leaders at church; and bakes for weddings and open houses.

Future plans: Attend Grand Valley State University to continue her track and cross country career while also pursuing a nursing degree.

THE OTHER FOUR FINALISTS

Meah Bajt, Spring Lake

GPA: 4.0

Sports: Volleyball (4), Basketball (4), Soccer (4)

Athletic honors/awards: Senior team captain for the Spring Lake volleyball team; finished with 372 digs and 3.4 digs per set in 2022; senior team captain for Spring Lake basketball team; team leader in assists, second in steals, third in rebounds and third in points; first team all-conference selection in the OK Blue (2021-22); MLive Muskegon all-area honorable mention selection; BCAM Outstanding Senior Athlete Award (4 years of basketball with a 4.0 GPA)…Coach’s Award recipient as junior; led team in assists, rebounds and steals, second on team in points; honorable mention all-conference selection in the OK Blue (2020-21); MLive Muskegon all-area honorable mention selection (2021-22)…three-time all-conference, all-district, all-regional and all-state forward for the Spring Lake soccer team; scored 46 goals in the 2022 season to set a new school record for single-season goals scored; scored 47 goals and 11 assists in first two seasons at varsity level; likely would have set school record for all-time goals scored if not for canceled 2020 season.

Academic honors/awards: 3-time Academic all-state in volleyball.

Future plans: Attend Michigan State University to study business.

***

Anabeth Hylland, Mona Shores

GPA: 4.38

Sports: Volleyball (4), Basketball (4), Track and Field (4)

Athletic honors/award: 2-time All-State performer in the 100-meter dash; 3-time GMAA champion in the 100-meter dash (2019, 2021, 2022); 2019 GMAA champion in the 400-meter dash; 2-time West Michigan All-Star meet champion in the 200-meter dash (2019, 2021); 2-time West Michigan All-Star meet champion in the 100-meter dash (2019, 2021); West Michigan All-Star meet champion in the long jump (2021); 2-time OK Green Conference champion in the 200-meter dash (2019, 2022); 3-time OK Green Conference champion in the 100-meter dash (2019, 2021, 2022); 2-time OK Green Conference champion in the long jump (2021, 2022); GMAA champion in the 200-meter dash (2019); GMAA champion in the long jump (2022); 2021 regional champion in the 100-meter dash; 3-time OK Green Conference champion in the 100-meter dash (2019, 2021, 2022)…2021 OK Green All-Conference honorable mention in volleyball; MLive Muskegon Dream Team second-team selection in 2021; Two-year varsity letter winner for varsity girls basketball team, who won back-to-back OK Green and MHSAA District championships.

Academic honors/awards: Gold Cord Recipient for Class of 2022; National Honor Society Honor Award by completing 40 hours of service activities; AP Scholar with Distinction in 2020-2021; awarded for passing all of the AP placement exams; Honor guard at the 2021 Senior Commencement; Academic all-state in volleyball in 2021.

Extracurricular activities: Student Senate Secretary from 2018-2020; Chosen for Michigan Student Leadership (MASC & MAHS) regional competition in 2020; Volunteers to play piano at Tempting Tables, weddings, and nursing homes; Feeding America food truck volunteer;  Driveway shoveling in neighborhood; Volunteer youth basketball, volleyball, and track coach;   Certified lifeguard with CPR/AED training.

Future plans: Attend Michigan State University in the fall and run for the Michigan State track and field team.

***

Whitehall senior Karli VanDuinen earned medalist honors at the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association golf tournament for the third time in as many chances Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, at Stonegate Golf Club in Twin Lake, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Karli VanDuinen, Whitehall

GPA: 3.88

Sports: Golf (3), Bowling (4)

Athletic honors/award: 3-time regional champion in golf; D3 state runner-up in 2022;

3-time regional champion in bowling; 4-time all-state bowler; Named Miss Bowler in Michigan for 2022; MHSIBCA Bowling Dream Team (top 6 bowlers across the state); 3-time GMAA Golf Individual champion; 2-time GMAA Bowling individual champion; individual regional runner-up (2022); MHSAA D3 bowling state champion (2022);

Academic honors/awards: National Honor Society

Extracurricular activities: Youth bowling coach at Northway Lanes

Future plans: Attend Arkansas State University; join bowling program; major in Sports Management with a minor in Business.

***

Kendall Zoulek of the Shelby girls basketball team is photographed at the CatchMark Media Day on Nov. 24, 2021, in Whitehall, Mich. (Cody Ottinger | CatchMark)

Kendall Zoulek, Shelby

GPA: 3.58

Sports: Volleyball (4), Basketball (4), Softball (4)

Athletic awards/honors: Three-year all-conference selection and two-year team captain in volleyball; four-year all-confernece selection, three-year all-area selection, two-year All-State selection, three-year team captain, 2022 West Michigan Conference Player of the Year in basketball and finished her prep career with 1,040 career points, 606 career rebounds, and was voted MVP by teammates all four years on varsity; all-district, honorable mention all-conference and two-year team captain in softball; earned 12 varsity letters during prep career.

Academic awards/honors: Academic All-State in basketball, Shelby Public Schools Academic Honoree (3.5 GPA or higher), Gold graduation cord recipient.

Extracurricular activities: Food pantry volunteer, Peer tutor for Shelby Public Schools, served at the Free Community breakfast at Shelby United Church of Christ, Volunteer youth basketball instructor.

Future plans: Attend Muskegon Community College to pursue degree in nursing while playing basketball for the Jayhawks. After two years at MCC, she plans to transfer to a four-year college to finish up her nursing degree.

OTHER NOMINEES

Cate Anhalt, Fruitport Calvary Christian

GPA: 3.5

Sports: Soccer (3), basketball (4), track and field (1)

Honors/activities: All-conference in basketball and soccer … National Honor Society … Food truck volunteer … Worship team leader … Tutoring younger students

Future plans: Attend Spring Arbor University

***

Audrianna Enns, Hart

GPA: 4.0

Sports: Cross country (4), track and field (4)

Honors/activities: All-state and all-conference in cross country all four years, placing fourth, fifth twice and 10th … Member of four straight state championship cross country teams … All-state and all-conference in track multiple seasons and in multiple events … Involved in church

Future plans: Attend Cedarville University and compete on the cross country and track teams

***

Jasmine Goins, Muskegon                 

GPA: 3.756

Sports: Competitive cheer (4), sideline cheer (4), track and field (4)

Honors/activities: Two-time captain for the track team … Varsity letter in cheer and track … All-conference in competitive cheer … Academic all-state in cheer … National Honor Society … Honor Roll … Lakeshore Youth Leadership Initiative as a 10th-grader … Graduated with honors … Kids Food Basket … Feeding America food truck … Elementary school volunteer

Future plans: Attend Michigan State University and study zoology

***

Megan Houseman, North Muskegon

GPA: 4.0

Sports: Volleyball (4), softball (4), bowling (1), powerlifting (1)

Honors/activities: All-conference, all-district, all-region, all-area and all-state in softball … All-conference, all-district and second-team all-area dream team in volleyball … Fifth in the city in bowling … Placed at the regional tournament in bowling … Regional champion and state runner-up in powerlifting … National Honor Society … Senior class vice-president … President of NorseCare program … Officer of Interact Club … Leader of Early Act Club … Children’s Ministry volunteer … Recipient of the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association scholarship

Future plans: Attend Hope College and pursue a degree in the medical field as an Emergency PA while also playing softball

***

Aleya Jones, Orchard View

GPA: 3.20

Sports: Volleyball (4), soccer (4)

Honors/activities: Second-team all-conference in volleyball … Eight varsity letters … Orchard View Female Athlete of the Year … Team captain in volleyball and soccer … District title in soccer … Volunteer with elementary programs

Future plans: Attend Central Michigan University and pursue a major in performing arts and music

***

Emma Jopich, Hesperia

GPA: 3.9743

Sports: Basketball (4), softball (4), volleyball (4)

Honors/activities: Eight varsity letters … All-conference honorable mention in basketball and softball … All-district in softball … Class president … National Honor Society vice president … Student Council president … Top 10 honors … Blood drive worker

Future plans: Attend Ferris State University and pursue a degree in the medical field

***

Erin LaVigne, Muskegon Catholic Central

GPA: 3.9 (unweighted)

Sports: Volleyball (4), basketball (3), soccer (4)

Honors/activities: All-conference, all-district, all-regional, all-area and all-state recognition in volleyball … All-conference, all-district, all-region, all-area and all-state recognition in basketball … All-conference, all-district, all-region, all-area and all-state recognition in soccer … Academic all-state in volleyball individually and with her team … Team academic all-state in basketball and soccer … Top 10 CAP scored 2019-2022 … Member of the Youth Advisory Council for Muskegon County … Kids Food Basket … Box of Joy … No Hunger November Thanksgiving Baskets … School-sponsored kids camps … Student Council Executive Board president …  Yearbook staff

Future plans: Attend Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame and study nursing

***

Jaxi Long, Newaygo

GPA: 4.6 (4.1 unweighted)

Sports: Basketball (4), soccer (4)

Honors/activities: First-team all-state in basketball as a senior, as well as honorable mention as a sophomore and junior … 1,000-point scorer in basketball … MLive Player of the Year in basketball as a senior … Honors Banquet for four years … Ranked No. 3 in her class … National Honor Society … Youth basketball volunteer … Youth soccer volunteer

Future plans: Attend college and play basketball, but undecided on where

***

Claire Meacham, Montague

GPA: 4.429 (4.0 unweighted)

Sports: Volleyball (1), basketball (4), golf (3), track and field (3; lost a season because of the COVID year)

Honors/activities: Helped Montague’s golf team win back-to-back Division 4 state titles … Track team won two regional titles, while basketball team won conference and district championships … All-state recognition in golf … Numerous all-conference awards for track and field and basketball … Captain of track and basketball teams … MHSAA Scholar Athlete Award winner … Honor Roll all four years … Academic all-state in track and golf … Golf and basketball teams were academic all-state … National Honor Society president … Student Senate … Future Farmers of America and DECA throughout high school, reaching state finals in both … DECA officer … Volunteer for church and community organizations

Future plans: Attend Cornerstone University and study civil engineering while competing with the golf and track and field teams

***

Jasmine Pastor, Oakridge

GPA: 3.929

Sports: Softball (3; one season canceled because of COVID), basketball (3), volleyball (3)

Honors/activities: All-state, all-region, all-district and all-conference in softball … National Honor Society … Student Council … Decorated bags to help out with sack dinners for Kids Food Basket … Helped with filling and making new client folders for The Animal Clinic of Muskegon … Volunteer yard work … Announced for a JV softball game … Worked for Heaven Can Wait … Handed out food to the elderly of her community

Future plans: Attend Muskegon Community College where she will play softball (major undecided)

***

Taryn Preston, Kent City

GPA: 4.0

Sports: Track and field (4), basketball (4), volleyball (3), softball (2; lost one season because of COVID)

Honors/activities: Basketball state runner-up as a junior and senior … All-conference in basketball … All-conference, all-region and second-team dream team for volleyball … Co-conference champions two years in volleyball … All-state, all-region and all-state in track and field each year on varsity with the exception of the season lost because of COVID … Conference champ in track each year … 4×400 relay state champions, and all-state in other events in track … Kent City Senior Girls Athlete of the Year … Academic all-state in track, basketball and volleyball … National Honor Society … Valedictorian … KC School Board student representative … GRCC Dean’s List with dual enrollment classes … Volunteer at Robert Kozminski Memorial Softball Tournament … Volunteer at youth sports events and youth basketball practice … Roadside cleanup … Yard/garden work for elderly neighbors during the summer and spring … Donated handmade gifts to the Grand Rapids Police Department

Future plans: Attend Cornerstone University and major in nursing with a possible minor in ministry or Biblical studies, while also competing on the track and field team

***

Gianna Reed, Holton

GPA: 3.341 (3.318 unweighted)

Sports: Volleyball (4), basketball (3), softball (4)

Honors/activities: All-state (multiple years) and all-conference in softball … All-conference honorable mention in volleyball … Honor Roll … Officiates youth basketball … Youth softball program coach

Future plans: Attend Muskegon Community College and study marine biology

***

Kylie Rudolph, Fruitport

GPA: 3.8

Sports: Volleyball (4), basketball (3), track and field (4)

Honors/achievements: MVP for track for three years … Regional and GMAA champion in long jump and the 400-meter dash … State qualifier, team captain and all-conference in track … All-conference, all-area dream team and team captain in volleyball … Academic all-state in basketball … All A’s … Graduated Summa Cum Laude … National Honor Society … Yearbook staff … Volunteer church work … Elderly caregiver

Future plans: Going into the military to pursue a medical career

***

Carsyn Scarlavai, White Cloud

GPA: 4.0433

Sports: Volleyball (4), basketball (4), track and field (4)

Honors/activities: All-conference in volleyball and basketball … All-conference in track every year but the COVID year … All-state in track in the 4×100 … Nine varsity letters … National Honor Society … Student Council president … Senior class vice-president … Voice of Reason … Volunteer at the rodeo

Future plans: Attend Ferris State University to study radiology and possibly join the track and field team

***

Brianna Stawski, Reeths-Puffer

GPA: 3.982 (3.788 unweighted)

Sports: Volleyball (4), track and field (4)

Honors/activities: All-conference, all-region, all-area dream team first team and all-state honorable mention in volleyball … Team captain and Coaches Award in volleyball … Hit and surpassed 1,000 career kills and holds school record in kills … Academic all-state in volleyball … Voted MLive student-athlete of the week three times … All-conference, MVP of field events, high jump school record and top 10 at state finals in track and field … Voted Most Athletic Female in her class at Reeths-Puffer … Eight varsity letters … Gold graduation cord recipient … National Honor Society … Rotary Interact … National Honor Society … Impact (community served groups) … AAU volleyball … MPVA beach volleyball tournaments in the summer … Coached youth volleyball at Inside Out Volleyball Club … Youth volleyball clinics at Reeths-Puffer … Volunteered as student assistant coach for Reeths-Puffer’s boys varsity volleyball team … Volunteered at middle school track meets

Future plans: Attend Grand Valley State University and study to become a nurse or nurse practitioner while also playing volleyball

***

Veda Vargas, Grand Haven

GPA: 4.112

Sports: Swimming (4), basketball (3), softball (4)

Honors/activities: Eight varsity letters … All-district and all-region for softball … Captain of swim and softball teams … District champions in softball as a junior and senior … Conference champions and runner-up in the state for swimming as a team … Academic all-state and academic All-American for swimming … Top 10 percent of her class … National Honor Society … Orchestra member … Leader of Catalina Club … Kids Food Basket volunteer … Assistant swim coach volunteer

Future plans: Attend DePaul University and study pharmacy

***

Liberty Willick, Ravenna

GPA: 3.90

Sports: Softball (4), volleyball (4), bowling (3)

Honors activities: All-conference, all-district, all-region and academic all-state in softball … Second-team all-state and state finals qualifier in bowling … Academic all-state in volleyball … Honor graduate … National Honor Society president … Versiti Leadership Cord … Student Council president … Yearbook editor-in-chief … Academic Excellence Award … Volunteer with food drives … Volunteer at local Baptist church with rummage sales and Christmas shoe boxes … Volunteer at assisted living center with painting rooms, cleaning, etc. … Volunteer with Feeding America West Michigan

Future plans: Attend Muskegon Community College on The Muskegon Promise and pursue a career in psychology

***

Haley Zerlaut, Fremont

GPA: 4.00

Sports: Golf (4), basketball (4), softball (4)

Honors/activities: 12 varsity letters … Team captain for golf, basketball and softball multiple times each … Academic all-state in basketball and softball …All-conference in golf, basketball and softball … All-area in golf, basketball and softball … Rich Tompkins Multi-Sport Athlete Award nominee … Showcase Student-Athlete representative … MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award finalist … Fremont Athlete of the Week and Athlete of the Month … Top 10 in class (No. 6) … National Honor Society … Senior class secretary … Varsity Club … Honor Roll for four years … Already achieved 27 college credits with a 4.0 GPA as a college student … Instructor at multiple youth sports camps … Instructor at youth golf clinic … Coached elementary basketball through the rec center … Elementary school teacher intern … Worked at Waters Edge Golf Course … Packer Pride Day volunteer … Church youth group

Future plans: Attend Muskegon Community College and pursue a career in elementary education

***

Jada Zerlaut, Grant

GPA: 4.0

Sports: Golf (4), tennis (4)

Honors/activities: First-team all-state, academic all-state, three-time all-conference and all-area, and two-time team captain in tennis … Academic all-state, two-time all-conference, three-time captain and state finals qualifier in golf … West Michigan Showcase Student-Athlete representative … Eight varsity letters … Valedictorian … Muskegon Community College honors list for four semesters … Student Council … College ambassador … National Honor Society … Blood drive committee … Tennis instructor for grades K-8

Future plans: Attend Alma College and pursue a pre-med degree in hopes of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, while also competing on the tennis and golf teams at Alma

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