June 11, 2010

College Connections: She exemplifies success on the field and in the classroom

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Kelly Johnson had a storied athletic career at Bonny Eagle High and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, excelling in softball and field hockey.

Her work in the classroom wasn't bad either.

Johnson, of Buxton, was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American at-large team on Thursday. She earned first-team honors.

The at-large team includes athletes from bowling, crew, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis and water polo.

This is Johnson's third academic All-American honor. She earned second-team honors in the at-large division last spring and in softball this year.

"I'm really excited about this," said Johnson in a phone interview. "Sports mean a lot to me, but to have a strong balance between sports and academics means a lot, too. I'm excited and really honored to be part of this group."

Johnson graduated with a 4.00 grade-point average last month. She majored in mechanical engineering and minored in entrepreneurship.

Johnson will attend graduate school at Stanford, continuing her mechanical engineering studies.

"I'll be focusing on design," she said. "When I get out of school, I want to design products, medical devices and things that will help people."

Johnson was one of the best players on the field hockey and softball teams at WPI. She led the field hockey team in goals (11) and defensive saves (10), a rare feat. She led the softball team with a .333 batting average, and had four home runs, 25 runs scored and 17 RBI.

"It was quite a balancing act," Johnson said of playing two sports and studying mechanical engineering.

She also had to come back from a serious knee injury suffered her sophomore season in field hockey when she tore her ACL. But Johnson, who was the Maine Sunday Telegram's field hockey MVP in 2005 after leading Bonny Eagle to the Class A state championship game, never considered giving up sports.

"I felt it provided balance," she said. "It was kind of an outlet for me when things got stressful and I was up all hours working on things. Sports helped take my mind off it."

BASEBALL

Sophomore Dave Longley of Brunswick finished 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA for Wheaton College, which advanced to the NCAA tournament and finished 34-10. He struck out 28 and walked only five in 26 innings.

CREW

Dartmouth senior Anastasia Miliano of Gorham was the coxswain on the school's men's heavyweight crew that finished second in the Petite final of the 2010 IRA national championships. Dartmouth finished eighth overall.

TENNIS

Freshman Kelsey Boyce of Arrowsic (Morse) went 6-2 for the Gettysburg College women's team. She was 2-1 at fifth and sixth singles and 4-1 in doubles matches.

TRACK AND FIELD

Wheaton freshman Ben Miklovich of New Gloucester (Gray-New Gloucester) was part of a national championship 1,600 relay team for the Lyons. Wheaton finished first in the recent NCAA championships, with Miklovich running the second leg. The team finished in 3:11.73, edging Gustavus Adolphus College by 0.79 seconds. Wheaton, which also won the 400 relay, finished fifth overall with 26 points.

Keene State junior Allison Chamberlain of Scarborough was a first-team selection for the District Academic All-American team. Chamberlain qualified for the national championships in both the 800 and 1,500 races, but could not compete because of a leg injury.

AWARDS

Pine Manor College's Courtney Wallace of Steep Falls (Bonny Eagle) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference woman of the year. Wallace, a four-time, first-team all-GNAC catcher, was also Pine Manor's valedictorian.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

mlowe@pressherald.com

 

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