The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Monday, June 16, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Girl Athlete of the Year


Finalists for The Herald's 2014 Girl Athlete of the Year award

Tulalip Heritage's Katia Brown helped lead the Lady Hawks girls basketball team to the state tournament this past season.

Courtesy photo

Tulalip Heritage's Katia Brown helped lead the Lady Hawks girls basketball team to the state tournament this past season.

Editors note: Only senior athletes are considered for Athlete of the Year award. Nominations were provided by school athletic directors, coaches and Herald writers. Finalists for the award are based on voting by readers and Herald staff. The Athlete of the Year is chosen from the six finalists by Herald writers and editors.

Katia Brown, Tulalip Heritage

Sport
Basketball

Accolades
Northwest 1A/2B all-league first-team guard for girls basketball ... led the Hawks girls basketball team to the state tournament ... maintains a 3.6 grade-point average ... volunteers in community and classroom.

Quotable

“Katia is dependable and dedicated in everything that she does. She volunteers her time at open gym running the clock when needed and helps clean up. She helps other students in the classroom as needed.” — Tina Brown, Tulalip Heritage girls basketball head coach

Personal bio
The Tulalip Heritage senior wasn't only a star on the court but in the classroom. Brown maintained a 3.6 grade-point average and was a full-time running start student at Everett Community College. On the court, Brown was a key member of the Hawks' girls basketball team throughout her prep career. This season she was a Northwest 1B/2B all-league first-team selection as a guard after she helped the Hawks to a 9-0 league record and a berth in the state tournament.

Lynnwood's Jasmin Edwards

File photo

Lynnwood's Jasmin Edwards

Jasmin Edwards, Lynnwood

Sports
Basketball, Softball

Accolades
The Herald's Girls Basketball Player of the Year ... led Lynnwood to third-place finish at state, the best finish at the girls basketball state tournament in the program's history ... All-Area first-team guard for girls basketball for second consecutive year ... All-Area first-team selection on the softball team ... headed to Central Washington University to play basketball.

Quotable

“Jazzy was instrumental in both the deep state run in basketball as well as the deep run in the softball district tournament. Point guard, leadoff hitter ... it's no coincidence the two teams had great seasons.” — Matthew Rockne, Lynnwood softball head coach

“To have one of our players recognized as athlete of the year is verification that our program is moving in the right direction. For that athlete to be my daughter is indescribable. It's a thrill I wish I could put in a bottle and sell so every father could experience it.” — Everett Edwards, Lynnwood girls basketball head coach

Personal bio
For story on Edwards, click here.

Glacier Peak's Nicole Fausey

File photo

Glacier Peak's Nicole Fausey

Nicole Fausey, Glacier Peak

Sports
Basketball, Track

Accolades
All-Wesco first-team post for girls basketball ... All-Area second-team post for girls basketball ... led the Grizzlies to Wesco 3A South and district championships ... finished fifth in districts in shot put ... headed to Cal Poly to play women's basketball.

Quotable

“I think most coaches would agree that the true definition of a great player is the ability to make those around her better. Nikki was that type of player for our team. A classic example of this was our game against Meadowdale this year. Her defense was great and as always had a ton of rebounds but her point total for the game: zero. I was shocked. ... Her unselfishness opened up scoring opportunities for everyone else and our team had one of its best games of the year. Did Nikki care? Nope, because the team won and that is the type of leadership we tried to instill in our team.” — Brian Hill, Glacier Peak girls basketball head coach.



Personal bio
As one of two 6-foot posts for the Glacier Peak girls basketball team, it was hard to ignore Nicole Fausey. Along with Taylor Baird, the 6-foot-4 Fausey was a force to be reckoned with as Glacier Peak battled its way to a Wesco 3A South and District 1 championships. The Grizzlies fell short of a second straight trip to Tacoma, but Fausey went out with a bang, scoring 16 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in an overtime loss to Mercer Island. The senior also competed on the Glacier Peak track and field team this season — for the first time since her sophomore year. She specialized in throwing, competing in the shot put, discus and javelin events and qualified for districts in the shot put. It was fitting that Fausey, who finished her career as the school's record-holder for blocks in a season, was part of the team that recorded win No. 100 in the program's history. No one cares more about wins than Fausey.

Marysville Pilchuck's Amanda Klep

File photo

Marysville Pilchuck's Amanda Klep

Amanda Klep, Marysville Pilchuck

Sports
Soccer, Basketball, Track

Accolades
All-Wesco and All-Area first-team forward for girls soccer ... led the Tomahawks girls soccer team to the state tournament ... ran on two relay teams at the 3A state meet, including the 1,600-meter relay team that finished second ... qualified for state in the 100 and 200 dashes ... headed to Concordia University to play women's soccer.

Quotable

“The main thing I worry about with Amanda is that she does too much. That's her only drawback ... she does too much sometimes because she just loves to do stuff and just loves to compete. She is just a tough little competitor and that is what makes her so good.” – Randy Davis, Marysville Pilchuck track coach.

Personal bio
The Tomahawks senior is headed to Concordia University where she will play soccer, but that isn't the only sport she excelled at in her four years at Marysville Pilchuck. Klep was also played a key role on the basketball team as the point guard and was a member of two relay teams for the Tomahawks at the state track meet. But it's the pitch where she found the most success. As a senior, Klep scored 24 goals and had six assists for a Tomahawks team that won the Wesco 3A North title and advanced to the 3A state tournament. A perfect example of Klep's determination was MP's shootout loss to Shorewood in the first-round of the district tournament. Every time Shorewood scored a goal, Klep answered with a goal of her own. Three times she did it, finishing with a hat trick. This spring, Klep and her teammates on the MP 1,600-meter relay team earned a second-place finish at the state track meet. Her athletic accomplishments are impressive enough, but are magnified by the injuries she had to battle. Coming back from a torn ACL can be a challenge for any athlete. Klep has done it four times. Starting in eighth grade, Klep has torn the ACL in each knee twice. Determined to continue her athletic career, Klep not only came back from those injuries, but was able to excel as an athlete once again.

Arlington's Lyndsay Leatherman

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Arlington's Lyndsay Leatherman

Lyndsay Leatherman, Arlington

Sports
Basketball, Track

Accolades
State champion in discus and javelin at 4A state meet ... as the lone senior, led the Eagles girls basketball team to the state tournament for the second straight year ... finished second in the shot put at state meet ... district champion in javelin and shot put ... All-Wesco first-team post for girls basketball... headed to the University of Washington to compete on the track team.

Quotable

“Lyndsay Leatherman is the most competitive girl I've ever coached. She has a spirit about her that never says quit. She won the state championship in both the discus and jav on her final throw. I can coach her on all the techniques to be great but there is definitely something to be said about the competitive spirit an athlete has to be at their best when it counts and Lyndsay epitomizes that spirit.” — Judd Hunter, Arlington track and field coach

“Off the court Lyndsay Leatherman is all smiles, with a goofy, warm and embracing personality ... the kind of kid everybody loves. On the court, she has the ability to flip that switch and become a fierce competitor and a force to be reckoned with.” — Joe Marsh, Arlington girls basketball head coach

Personal bio
Leatherman leaves Arlington with a decorated career in both basketball and track and field. As a senior she helped the Eagles return to the 4A state basketball tournament for a second consecutive season after placing second at state when she was a junior. As the lone senior, Leatherman was a key leader on a young Eagles team tha lost just three games during the regular season. Leatherman had eight points and 10 rebounds as the Eagles beat Todd Beamer for the second consecutive season in the regionals to punch their ticket to the Tacoma Dome. Leatherman had just as much success as a thrower for the Eagles track team. After placing third in the javelin, discus and shot put at the state track meet as a junior, she returned this spring and won state titles in the javelin and discus and as a runner-up in the shot put. She set a personal record in winning the discus.

Lakewood's Kiana Smith

File photo

Lakewood's Kiana Smith

Kiana Smith, Lakewood

Sport
Softball

Accolades
Cascade Conference co-Offensive Player of the Year in softball after winning Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 ... All-Area second-team shortstop for the second straight year ... homered in two of Lakewood's district playoff games ... finished with a Cascade Conference-best 11 home runs ... headed to Everett Community College to play softball.

Quotable

“Kiana is the most well-rounded softball player I've ever coached in my 35 years. She has been given all-conference recognition all four years of high school and owns 13 LHS school records. She has been a great leader, serving as our captain during her junior and senior years. She has also been an inspiration to her teammates and coaches and recognized as our most inspirational player during her junior and senior years.” — Steve Barker, Lakewood softball head coach

Personal bio
Smith is the type of softball player that everything seems to stop when she comes to bat. Everybody sits a little closer to the edge of their seats and fans, coaches and players turn their undivided attention to the area around home plate. The reason is simple: Something exciting is about to happen. The two-time Cascade Conference offensive player of the year can crush a pitch over the fence or rip a line drive to the gap. Even her groundouts are exciting. In the field, whether she's making diving catches or turning flawless double plays from her shortstop position, she's been the heart and soul of the Cougars defense over the past four years. Smith is also one of the most vocal supporters in the dugout, cheering on her teammates or imploring them to pick themselves up and dust themselves off after a tough play. She's well respected by her coaches and peers. Evidence of that was the fact Smith was highest vote-getter in the girls athlete-of-the-year poll when it closed.

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