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Rohweder, Smith win Nolan award

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
STEV7 5-19-07
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GYPSUM, Colorado ” For Ashely Rohweder and Sage Smith, being on stage is nothing new.

The Eagle Valley seniors have been in several school musicals and even performed a duet at an Eagle County’s Got Talent competition.

But being on stage without doing much, like Rohweder and Smith were Friday in Gypsum ” that’s undiscovered territory. But really, they deserved a break from action.

Rohweder and Smith were selected as this year’s Pete Nolan Scholarship Award winners. The award, given out to a male and female senior athlete, takes into consideration not only athletics, but also academics and overall citizenship.

“That’s what makes it so nice,” Rohweder said. “It’s an accumulation of (everything) and a really big honor.”

“It’s cool to be recognized for committing to everything,” Smith said. “Being committed to sports for four years made it hard. Sometimes people don’t realize how hard it is to balance your plate.”

Rohweder, who competed in track and field and volleyball, was revered by her coaches not just her skill, but her team-oriented attitude and work ethic.

“It was always a privilege to coach her,” track coach Jeff Shroll said. “She always kept a positive attitude and influenced those around her.”

Among her many track accomplishments, Rohweder won the 4A state title in the 300 hurdles as a junior.

“Those are hard to come by,” Shroll said of state titles. “She would have been a phenomenal long jumper, high jumper and triple jumper, too.”

In volleyball, Rohweder moved from outside hitter to middle hitter/blocker her senior year, and was a key piece of Eagle Valley’s solid season.

“She is one of the kids who don’t play volleyball all year, and she kept up with the kids who did,” volleyball coach Rob Crawford said. “Mostly, it’s her attitude. She always wants a little bit more. She’s been such a pleasure to work with since I met her. She’s got one of the best positive attitudes I’ve ever seen.”

Smith competed in soccer, Nordic skiing and track.

“I play all the alternative sports,” Smith said.

In the fall, Smith was part of a stone-wall defense that helped the soccer team go

undefeated in its final eight games to qualify for the playoffs. Smith emerged as the Devils’ top Nordic skier this season, and won the team’s Most Outstanding Skier award.

“He’s the kind of guy that if you wanted to overtrain him, you could, because he’d be willing to do it,” said Nordic coach Glen Ewing. “He was just an outstanding kid, and he’s pretty intelligent ” he’s carrying more than a 4.0.”

In the spring, Smith competed in relays and distance events.

“He was an absolute blast to have on the team. I think he has always fit his role on the track team perfectly. He worked hard, and always provides humor to everyone.”

The start of the track season was an especially busy time for the Rohweder and Smith, who acted Eagle Valley’s production of, “Tom Sawyer.” Smith had the lead role of Tom Sawyer while Rohweder was Aunt Polly.

“They are not just limited to one thing,” Shroll said. “They do sports, are involved in plays, community service projects and keep their grades up at the same time.”

Smith was a member of the academic state champion boys Nordic and boys track teams.

Along with her theatrical performances, Rohweder has been a member of the choir, select choir and Western Slope Honor Choir.

“I love singing and being out there and showing a different side of me,” Rohweder said.

At the 2007 Eagle Valley’s Got Talent contest, Rohweder and Smith performed Tim McGraw’s “When The Stars Go Blue,” just one of many good memories the two have shared through the years.

“We were great friends through elementary school, and then she moved to Gypsum in middle school,” said Smith, an Eagle resident. “We got reunited in high school. We became a super-force.”

While they’ve shared time on the stage and the track, the two also share a birthday ” April 4.

“Sage, Ethan (Sage’s twin brother) and I triplets,” Rohweder said.

Throughout their time at Eagle Valley, Smith and Rohweder have volunteered for community service projects and participated in countless other extra circulars.

“High school was my life,” Rohweder said. “I was sleeping (at home) and that was about it. My parents would say, ‘Can you please come home for dinner tonight?'”

Next year, Rohweder will attend the University of Arizona, where she will run track and study business. And if she has time, Rohweder said she may sneak in some choir.

Smith will be heading to the University of Colorado at Boulder to study music and may compete in Nordic, but said he would like to pick up dance, ultimate Frisbee or disc golf. Sadly, the “triples” will make a full break as Smith’s brother Ethan is going to Colorado State University.

“It was nice while it lasted,” Smith said. “We all know who made the right decision.”

Along with the recognition from the award, Smith and Rohweder got a nice send-off: $1,000 each.

“That’s icing on the cake, if I do say so myself,” Rohweder said.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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