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True scholar-athletes: Marquette’s Ericka Asmus, Westwood’s Madelyn Koski named finalists for MHSAA Scholar-Athlete awards

Marquette's Ericka Asmus, left, runs past Redettes' head coach Kyle Detmers during the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 Finals in girls cross country on Oct. 20, 2018, at Pictured Rocks Golf Club in Munising. Asmus finished second. (Photo courtesy Vicki Asmus)

MARQUETTE — Two area student-athletes are among five from the Upper Peninsula to be named finalists for Scholar-Athlete Awards as named Tuesday by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Seniors Ericka Asmus of Marquette and Madelyn Koski of Westwood are among the 120 finalists chosen statewide in the 31st year of the program sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance, which underwrites the $1,000 scholarship each of the 32 recipients will receive.

Asmus and Koski both ran cross country in the fall as Asmus is also on the MSHS ski team this winter and was previously on the school track team.

Koski is also on the Patriots’ girls basketball team this winter and was on the track team last spring.

The three other finalists from the Upper Peninsula are Andrew Innerebner of Sault Ste. Marie, Giovanni Basanese of Iron Mountain and James Storey of Pickford.

Approaching the finish line, Ericka Asmus comes in as Marquette's top finisher in second place overall during the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 Finals in girls cross country on Oct. 20, 2018, at Pictured Rocks Golf Club in Munising. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

Scholarships are awarded equally by gender and proportionately by school classification. There will be 12 in all awarded in Class A, eight in Class B, six in Class C and four in Class D. Two more are awarded at-large to minority recipients.

Every MHSAA member high school could submit as many applications as there are scholarships available in its classification, and 1,493 applications were received.

In addition to Marquette and Westwood, the exhaustive list of applications shows ones coming from these area schools — Negaunee, Gwinn, Manistique, Munising, Superior Central and Republic-Michigamme.

One Lower Peninsula school, Class A Midland Dow, has four finalists as 20 schools have multiple finalists.

Applications are judged by a 66-person committee of school coaches, counselors, faculty members, administrators and board members from MHSAA member schools.

Westwood's Madi Koski yells out repeatedly while guarding West Iron County's Anna Malmquist in the fourth quarter of their MHSAA Division 3 regional semifinal game held in Escanaba on March 11. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

The 32 chosen as Scholar-Athlete Award winners will be honored at a ceremony during halftime of the MHSAA Division 3 boys basketball championship game to be held March 28 at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.

To be eligible, student applicants must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) and previously won a varsity letter in at least one sport the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament.

Applicants are also asked to respond to a series of short essay questions and submit two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

Westwood's Madi Koski, left, drives to the basket while being pursued by West Iron County's Eden Golliher in the fourth quarter of their MHSAA Division 3 regional semifinal game held in Escanaba on March 11. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)