Four local high school seniors have been awarded scholarships by the Wharf to Wharf Race board of directors, race director Kirby Nicol announced this week.
Ben Albrecht of Santa Cruz High and Katie Alioto of Soquel High were named winners of the annual Howard Marcus Memorial scholarship. Abby Utic of Scotts Valley High and Nicholas Hicks of San Lorenzo Valley High were awarded Otis Chandler Memorial scholarship honors.
Albrecht has run track at Santa Cruz High since his sophomore year, competing in 100- and 200-meter sprints as well as on his school’s relay teams. He’s carried a 4.49 grade-point average and is planning to compete next year at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Alioto has competed in both track and cross-country at Soquel High. She ran in the state championships in her junior and senior year and also competed in the CCS finals as a distance runner. She has a 3.5 GPA and is going to attend St. Mary’s College in Orinda.
Utic has also run track and cross-country at Scotts Valley High. She is a two-time all-conference runner and has run the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1600-meter as well, making it into the CCS finals in 2011. A 4.0 student, she will compete next year at Sonoma State.
Hicks has also competed in both track and cross-country at San Lorenzo Valley. He made it to the state championship this year in the 3,200-meter race. With a GPA of 3.6, he’s headed to USF.
The Howard Marcus Scholarship is for $3,000 per year, renewable for four years. Named for a longtime member of the Wharf to Wharf Race organizing committee, basketball coach and youth track patron, the scholarship has been awarded to one boy and one girl runner annually since 1989.
The Chandler Scholarships are for two years at $3,000 per year. These scholarships commemorate Otis Chandler, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times and a longtime distance runner and a qualifier for the U.S. Olympic team. They too go to one boy and one girl track or cross-country competitor from Santa Cruz County who have been accepted into a two- or four-year college or university.
The Wharf to Wharf Race, scheduled each year for the fourth Sunday in July, is operated by a non-profit corporation chartered to promote running as a means to health and fitness. Now in its 40th year, the Race has contributed more than $4 million to Santa Cruz youth sports programs. For more information, go to wharftowharf.com