The Cambridge-Isanti High School Activities Department recently announced the selection of Becca Maikkula and Chase Carstensen as the schools’ recipients of the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award, which is given out annually to one senior girl and one senior boy who actively participate and excel in all three aspects of high school. The winners are selected from seniors who fill out an application that includes listing which activites they currently are participating in or previously participated in, multiple short essays, and a letter of recommendation from a school leader who has worked closely with the student.
Maikkula, who is the daughter of Beth and Eric Maikkula, has taken the Triple A model to heart for several years even before high school.
“Athletics, arts and academics have consumed my life since middle school,” she wrote in her essay. “Any opportunity I had to join a new activity, make new friends, or gain a new skill, I seized.”
She has participated in Play Inc. during the summer over seven years now. Additionally, she was invited to compete on the high school gymnastics team in seventh grade.
Once in high school, she has performed in the CIHS fall musical all four years. She also participated in band and choir, including earning superior ratings in Jazz Choir her junior year. Beginning her sophomore year, she participated in “iPlay,” which is a small theatre troupe run by Play Inc. that puts on performances about character traits for elementary age students.
Finally, Maikkula, along with last year’s State Triple A winner AnnaGrace Nelson, have been asked to sing the National Anthem at many sporting events, including at the State Gymnastics Meet the last two years.
Athletically, Maikkula admits her dedication to gymnastics prevented her from participating in multiple sports, however she did compete in track her freshman and sophomore years. That dedication to one sport, though, has yielded her a spot on the state-qualifying team in each of her years except one leading up to this year’s team, which has yet to begin their season.
Academically, she carries a 3.93 GPA while taking eight PSEO (post secondary enrollment option) courses and five college in school concurrent enrollment courses. Upon graduation this spring, she plans on attending Montana State University - Bozeman, and majoring in Biology, Pre-Med and a possible minor in music.
Carstensen, who is the son of Kristi, Chuck, and Melissa Carstensen, states he will take all he has learned through all aspects of Triple A into the future.
“I couldn’t imagine where I’d be in life without all these things shaping me into who I am today,” he wrote in his essay. “The impact these things have had on me will last forever and I’ll take them with me and hopefully pass them on to my kids when I’m a parent.”
His main love is music, where he has performed in choir all throughout high school, getting a superior rating in 10th and 11th grade so far. He also performed in the fall musical his junior and senior years.
Carstensen is a three-sport athlete, having played football, basketball, and baseball throughout a majority of his high school years. While not necessarily a star athlete, he prides himself in being “the hype man for my teams.”
Additionally, he was a Link Crew Leader during his junior year.
Academically, he carries a 3.58 GPA while taking two AP courses and 12 PSEO courses. Upon graduation this spring, he plans on attending Northwestern University St. Paul, where he plans on majoring in Business, with a minor in Theology. He also hopes to be able to continue playing baseball and football in college.