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Corvell Poag of Armstrong High and Molly Grube of Manchester can become the first students from their respective schools to win The Richmond Times-Dispatch/Sports Backers Scholar-Athlete of the Year program’s top scholarships.

So can Ali Ibrahim of Glen Allen and Logan Ransom of Steward on the male side, and Lexi Baumhover of Cosby and Sally Snead of Trinity Episcopal on the female side.

The six are among the 10 boys and 10 girls who were chosen finalists by a 10-member panel representing The Times-Dispatch and Sports Backers. The 20 were selected from a pool of 91 seniors who were nominated by their school or were Scholar-Athlete of the Month winners.

The finalists will be honored at this year’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year banquet and awards ceremony on June 3 at The Jefferson Hotel.

Scholarships this year total $70,000. The boys and girls overall winners receive $7,500 scholarships each. The runners-up receive $5,000 scholarships and the other 16 finalists receive $2,500 each. Since the T-D/Sports Backers partnership began 28 years ago, 536 scholar-athletes have received $1,103,000 in scholarship money.

Kristin Carpenter Steadman, the 2009 Scholar-Athlete of the Year winner from Hanover High, will be the guest speaker for the banquet, although it will be a conversation instead of formal remarks. Carpenter was the All-Metro volleyball player of the year in the fall of 2008. She went on to win two NCAA championships and three Big Ten championships while at Penn State.

She had a successful career as a setter playing in Sweden and Greece for two years before she became an assistant coach at Virginia then at the University of Oklahoma. She currently is an assistant coach at the University of Maryland.

Steadman was just named Hanover High’s greatest athlete in a Times-Dispatch series featuring the greatest athlete from 50 of the area’s high schools.

One of this year’s finalists is Hanover High’s Megan Kratzer. She is the first All-Metro volleyball player of the year from Hanover since Steadman.

Poag could become the first Scholar-Athlete of the Year from Richmond Public Schools since Sean Archer from Thomas Jefferson High was selected in 1993.

The Sports Backers will present two need-based scholarships ($2,500 each) for the second year. Poag will receive the Raymond D. Patterson Memorial Scholarship. Jadah Ellison-Johnson of J.R. Tucker will receive the Cheryl L. Oliver Memorial Scholarship.

Each high school in the T-D’s primary circulation area was given the opportunity to nominate one senior girl and one senior boy for the award. Six seniors who were Scholar-Athletes of the Month were nominated as their school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Only one finalist this year, Elby Omohundro of St. Christopher’s, was a Scholar-Athlete of the Month winner and not a year-end nominee.

Two schools have two finalists. Douglas Freeman and Highland Springs each have a male and female.

Two of the girls, Abby Rieck (pronounced Rick) of James River and Sierra Tutwiler of Highland Springs, are valedictorians. Poag is the only salutatorian among the finalists. Kratzer and Jacob Moss of Powhatan are ranked third in their classes.

Omohundro, Kratzer, Snead and Levenson (last spring) have been recognized as All-Metro athletes of the year. Ibrahim was honored by the Virginia High School League as its Class 5 male athlete of the year.

The finalists’ sports are wide-ranging: football, cross country and track, baseball, wrestling, swimming, field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, soccer, softball and volleyball.

Ransom even helped design and build a small satellite that was launched into space from Wallops Island.

For banquet ticket information, contact Faith Hecht at Sports Backers, (804) 285-9495 ext. 243 or

The school nominees for Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be featured in a two-page presentation in The Times-Dispatch on June 2.

HCAVa Sports Medicine will recognize its Comeback Athletes of the Year, and Williams Mullen will present the first Community Impact Award.

Scholar-athlete finalists

Boys: Sam Brooks, Goochland; Ali Ibrahim, Glen Allen; Ricky Jones, Hopewell; Jacob Moss, Powhatan; Elby Omohundro, St. Christopher’s; Corvell Poag, Armstrong; Logan Ransom, Steward; Nick Viers, Douglas Freeman; Christian White, Highland Springs; David Winters, Maggie Walker.

Girls: Hannah Ballowe, St. Catherine’s; Lexi Baumhover, Cosby; Molly Grube, Manchester; Megan Kratzer, Hanover; Emme Levenson, Douglas Freeman; Lauren Murphy, Mills Godwin; Abby Rieck, James River; Sally Snead, Trinity Episcopal; Lily Snow, Deep Run; Sierra Tutwiler, Highland Springs

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