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Prep girls' school of the year: St. Joseph

Published June 30, 2013 10:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The pool of possible athletes is shallow at St. Joseph, which boasts an enrollment of 170.

Having enough athletes to fill out both boys' and girls' teams sometimes can be an issue, but that's where the fun begins.

The Jayhawks fill the void by spreading the wealth across the programs, with athletes participating in multiple sports. That approach translated into success for many girls' teams over the past year, which is why St. Joseph was named The Tribune's 2013 Girls' Sports School of the Year.

"In this day and age, kids try and specialize in one sport, but schools like ours give them the opportunity to do more," basketball coach Joe Cravens said. "That speaks highly of what we try to develop at St. Joe's. We get good athletes, but the emphasis is on developing the whole person than just the athlete."

Cravens points to athletes such as Katie Panushka, who won four state championships in three different sports (soccer, basketball, tennis).

The athletic programs have a no-cut policy, which allows athletes to participate in sports they otherwise wouldn't get the chance to play elsewhere. Some even play two or three sports in the same season.

"It's a big benefit for the coaches," soccer coach and school athletic director Alex Salvo said. "The kids come in well-conditioned and mentally tough. There's no wasting time. They're veterans of state championships and are mentally ready."

The Jayhawks won state championships in basketball and golf and were runners-up in volleyball and soccer. St. Joseph also placed third in cross-country, sixth in tennis and seventh in track and field.

The basketball team went 22-0, outscoring opponents 1,115-539. The program has won 28 consecutive games, including two state championships.

Greta Schneider's round of 88 led the golf team to the title by 29 strokes.

Britt Sederholm and Audra Thurston led the volleyball team to a 23-3 record, while the soccer team reached its fifth consecutive state championship game. Kate Weil led the way with 13 goals.

St. Joseph, led by Lyna Garcia, had four runners finish in the top 20 at the state cross-country meet. Garcia had three top-seven performances at the state track finals. —

Honorable mentions

Sky View • Won state title in volleyball and reached state semifinals in basketball.

Bingham • Won state title in golf; state runner-up in softball and swimming.

Snow Canyon • Won state title in soccer; state runner-up in basketball; reached state semifinals in basketball