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APS honors 3 athletes of the year

There was a bit of a home-school feel to Monday night’s ceremony at Volcano Vista at which Albuquerque Public Schools announced its choices for male and female athletes of the year.

Two of the three winners this year are Hawks.

Senior Mike Budick, an outstanding three-sport star for Volcano Vista, is APS’ Male Athlete of the Year.

The selection committee – on which the

Journal had a seat – wrangled long and hard about the choice for top female athlete.

Ultimately, the committee was split down the middle on the merits of Volcano Vista’s Hannah Fenske and Cibola’s Kim Chapman, so the two seniors were declared co-winners for Female Athlete of the Year for 2013-14.

Budick was an all-metro defensive end for Volcano Vista. He was arguably New Mexico’s most dominant wrestler in the winter, as he won every one of his 43 matches by pin. Remarkably, 42 of those 43 pins occured in the first round. He was the 220-pound state champion.

Budick is also one of the state’s premier throwers in track and field, and next week will be chasing individual titles in the shot put, discus and javelin.

He coaches youth track and youth wrestling on the side; Budick bypassed track and field offers to attend the University of New Mexico, where he plans to walk on to the Lobos’ football team.

His classmate, Fenske, captained the Hawks to the Class 5A girls state basketball title last Month at the Pit, upsetting nationally-ranked Clovis along the way. Her play in the final month of the season was brilliant.

Fenske, Volcano’s point guard and its emotional center, averaged 17.3 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Hawks. She signed last month with the Naval Academy, and carries an impressive 4.475 GPA.

During her career, Fenske was part of three state titles – two in basketball, one in girls soccer – and was named all-state five different times in those two sports. She was an all-state forward for Volcano Vista in soccer last fall.

Off the court, Fenske is a Special Olympics volunteer and also teaches Spanish to elementary school children.

The quiet Chapman is a three-sport standout for Cibola. She runs cross-country and track and field, and probably was the most valuable player on the Cougars’ basketball team that earned a No. 2 seed for state.

Like Fenske, Chapman, a guard, was a first-team all-state basketball selection last season, and she lettered four times in all three of her sports. She carries a 4.25 GPA and is heavily involved in the activities at the Zuni reservation in her spare time.

COACHES OF THE YEAR: Albuquerque High’s Kurt Henry and La Cueva’s Nick Martinez also were honored Monday night.

Henry was named the APS Male Sport Coach of the Year, Martinez the Female Sport Coach of the year. Henry is AHS’ boys track and field coach; Martinez coaches the Bears’ girls cross-country team.

La Cueva won a state title last fall for Martinez. AHS’ track team, while not yet a power, is making tremendous strides under Henry.

The Bulldogs last month had a second-place finish in the APS Invitational – a first in three decades for the program, and Henry has helped to more than double AHS’ participation in his two seasons.

Eldorado’s Stacy Pokorski (girls basketball) and Valley’s William “EZ” Panas (boys basketball) were selected as the top assistant coaches in APS.