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Kylie Aronson and Neal Smeltzer have been named Harwood Union principal's outstanding student athletes. They were named at an awards ceremony at the school on March 25.
The principal's outstanding student-athlete awards go to a senior boy and girl who best represent Highlander pride and achievement. They share a deep passion for their sports, their teammates and the world beyond their athletic fields.
The female winner is Kylie Aronson, Waitsfield, and the male winner is Neal Smeltzer, Waterbury. Kylie Aronson is an outstanding student with a GPA of over 3.8. Among her many accomplishments she is a member of the French club, has participated in the Harwood Band since seventh grade, has been a member of the marching band for her four years of high school, has taught gymnastics to young children since she, herself, was in seventh grade, has competed for Harwood for six years, leading her team to the state meet in both her junior and senior years, and helped her team place third in the state meet as a senior, the highest finish in over 20 years.
Her coach sees her as a true role model for all who come in contact with her and says, "This is the kind of leader she is. She even inspires her coaches."
Neal Smeltzer is another outstanding student with a GPA of 4.31. Among his many accomplishments he is one of the top students in his class, and will speak at Harwood's commencement in June. He competed on the State Champion Nordic team as a freshman in 2005, helped his team finish in third place in the state as a sophomore in 2006, as a junior captained the state champion Nordic Team in 2007, as a senior captained his team to a Division 2 State runner-up finish and is an accomplished musician and has represented Harwood in numerous jazz band and other competitions.
His coach says of him: "He gives nothing less than his best. He has made the most of every opportunity afforded to him and has reflected the highest standards of sportsmanship, athleticism and leadership; he skied a stunning anchor leg in the 4X 2.5-km skating relay to secure the team's runner-up award at the state Nordic meet."
At the awards ceremony 13 high school teams, their coaches and families attended the event for the presentation of awards. Each team presented an award for their teams "outstanding student athlete" the criteria for which was determined by each coach.
Here are the award winners by team:
Boys' Nordic Ski: Neal Smeltzer; Girls' Nordic Ski: Julienne Vergura; JVB Boys' Basketball: Caleb Nelson; Varsity Girls' Hockey: Hannah Martini; Girls' Alpine Ski: Anna Skilton; Boys' Alpine Ski: Chad Koenig; JV Girls' Basketball: Jamie Tempesta; JVA Boys' Basketball: Tyler Hoare; Wrestling: Josh Kernan; Gymnastics: Kylie Aronson; Varsity Boys' Hockey: Luke Sisler; Varsity Boys' Basketball: Greg Mehuron; Varsity Girls' Basketball: Kelly Foster.