Chopra, Still named Athletes of the Year

16 student-athletes were nominated for the honor

Todd Beamer High School senior AJ Chopra and Thomas Jefferson sophomore Hailey Still have been named Athletes of the Year.

The awards were presented during Federal Way Public Schools Athlete of the Year and Hall of Fame Celebration on Monday evening at Todd Beamer High School.

During the school year, athletic directors from the district’s four high schools submitted their nominees for Federal Way Mirror’s Athlete of the Week, which led to 76 total athletes earning recognition in a range of sports. In May, athletic directors nominated 16 finalists for the Mirror’s Athlete of the Year online ballot. Winners were chosen by the public.

“The Mirror is proud to partner with Federal Way Public Schools to support our local student athletes and recognize their achievements on the field and in the classroom,” Mirror publisher Andy Hobbs said.

Chopra, who participated in cross country and track, is the Titans’ record holder in the 5-kilometer, 3,200 meters and 1,600 meters. He will attend Boise State University, where he plans to continue his running career.

Chopra said it was an honor to be recognized for his success.

“It is hard to be at the top as an athlete for cross country and track,” he said. “Cross country, I wouldn’t say is the most publicized sport. Just doing what I have done best and enjoying what I do has helped me become a noticeable athlete in Federal Way and in that state of Washington. … I never thought I would be in a position like this ever in my life.”

Still plays soccer, basketball and fastpitch. She has earned numerous honors for soccer including North Puget Sound Soccer League divisional athlete of the year. She led the Raiders in scoring last season with 29 goals and seven assists. She has verbally committed to play soccer at the University of Washington.

Still said she was surprised to be named Athlete of the Year as a sophomore.

“Being honored with this award is something huge to me,” she said. “I hope to inspire other little kids that you don’t have be a senior or upperclassman to be recognized.”

The other male nominees were:

• Jeremiah Palaita; Decatur; junior; football, track and field

• Quinzy Salu; Decatur; senior; football, wrestling

• Jaden McDaniels; Federal Way; junior; basketball

• Anthony Frazier; Federal Way; sophomore; football, track

• Colin McKay; Todd Beamer; senior; football

• Austin Miller; Thomas Jefferson; senior; cross country, track

• Sione Aho; Thomas Jefferson; senior; football, track

The female nominees were:

• Sydney Victor; Decatur; senior; soccer, gymnastics, fastpitch

• Madi Combs; Decatur; senior; fastpitch, soccer, bowling

• Mariah Stewart; Federal Way; senior; volleyball, wrestling

• Olivia Chong; Federal Way; senior; cross country, tennis

• Madison Heck; Todd Beamer; sophomore; cross country, gymnastics, track

• Makenzie Bond; Todd Beamer; senior; volleyball, basketball, track

• Raisa Pleasants; Thomas Jefferson; junior; soccer, wrestling, track


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