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Top 10 student-athletes recognized

Some high school students pour most of their time and effort into sports, piling up awards for their athletic talents.

Others focus strictly on academics, with their sights set on becoming teachers, radiologists or neurosurgeons.

Then there are those who do both.

They have been selected Southern Nevada’s Top 10 Student-Athletes of the Year by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.

The NIAA, along with Farmers Insurance Group and Lifetouch, will award each senior with a $1,500 scholarship.

The 10 athletes — five boys and five girls — will be honored at a banquet May 27 at Sam’s Town.

Following are the 2009-10 honorees, listed alphabetically:

TATIANA CHAKER

Durango

Chaker has earned two varsity letters in cross country and track. She has an unweighted 3.79 GPA (4.59 weighted) and serves as student body vice president. She plans to attend UNR and study radiology.

PAXTON FLEMING

Boulder City

Fleming has earned 11 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. She has an unweighted 3.979 GPA (4.779 weighted) and serves as student body president. As a senior, Fleming was a second-team Class 3A All-Southern League guard in basketball and second-team honoree as a setter in volleyball. She earned first-team all-state honors as a junior catcher in softball. Fleming plans on attending college and studying pre-medicine.

HEATH GOULD

The Meadows

Gould has earned 10 varsity letters in football, wrestling and baseball. He has an unweighted 3.73 GPA (4.44 weighted) and is a National Honor Society member. He was a two-way starting lineman in football, earning Class 2A All-Southern League honors and helping the Mustangs to state titles as a junior and senior. Gould will play football at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he plans to major in neuroscience.

JACOB HANSEN

Western

Hansen has earned 10 varsity letters in tennis, wrestling, track and volleyball. He has an unweighted 3.943 GPA (4.743 weighted). He qualified for the Class 4A state wrestling tournament as a 125-pound junior, then took fourth in the Sunset Region as a senior. Hansen plans to attend UNLV, where he will study athletic training.

HEATHER HOLLINGER

Canyon Springs

Hollinger has earned 12 varsity letters in cross country, soccer and track. She has an unweighted 3.86 GPA (4.66 weighted), is a National Honor Society member and serves as student body treasurer. Hollinger took sixth at the Sunrise Region cross country meet as a junior. She plans on attending college after graduation and majoring in political science.

RYAN HONEY

Boulder City

Honey has earned two varsity letters in soccer and swimming. He carries an unweighted 3.907 GPA (4.682 weighted), is an Eagle Scout and National Honor Society member. He earned second-team Class 3A All-Southern League honors as a defender in soccer his senior year. Honey plans to attend Brigham Young, where he will major in business law.

DANIEL MIKKELSEN

Virgin Valley

Mikkelsen has earned five varsity letters in football and golf. He has an unweighted 4.0 GPA (4.8 weighted), is an Eagle Scout and will serve as valedictorian. Mikkelsen played offensive guard and defensive end in football. He plans to attend Utah State, where he will major in mechanical engineering, and will embark on a two-year mission for his church after turning 19.

MARISSA SMEREK

Lincoln County

Smerek has earned 12 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. She has an unweighted 3.94 GPA (3.99 weighted), is a National Honor Society member and has been published in the national anthology, “A Celebration of Poets.” Smerek has earned Class 2A all-state honors as a middle blocker in volleyball and forward in basketball each of the past three years. She plans on attending college and pursuing a teaching career.

STARLYN THOMAS

Cimarron-Memorial

Thomas has earned nine varsity letters in tennis, soccer and softball. She carries an unweighted 3.887 GPA (4.54 weighted) and has served as National Honor Society president and student body vice president. Thomas was a Class 4A second-team all-state softball pick as a junior. She plans on attending college and pursuing a teaching career.

ANDREW TOPHAM

Palo Verde

Topham has earned five varsity letters in basketball and volleyball. He carries an unweighted 4.0 GPA (4.8 weighted), is a three-year National Honor Society member and serves as student body president. Topham was a first-team All-Northwest League selection as a center in basketball as a senior, and helped the Panthers to the Class 4A state volleyball title as an outside hitter his junior year. He plans to attend college and major in either business or economics.

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