by Bob San
Sun Press Newspapers
Taylor Wente is Maple Grove High School’s Athena Award winner for 2017.
The award, now in its 45th year, is given to the top senior female athletes in Minneapolis and suburban area public and privates schools. Selection of this award is based on excellence in individual sports or for participation and accomplishments in team sports. The main criteria for the award is athletic accomplishments and school and community activities.
Wente plays hockey and softball for the Crimson.
In hockey, Wente is a key player who helped build Maple Grove into one of the top programs in Minnesota. She lettered in 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 and earned all-conference and all-state in all four years. She led the Crimson to their first ever section championship and state tournament in her junior year. The Crimson finished second in the state and Wente was named to the all-tournament team. She was also chosen Hockey All American-USA Today Preseason teams in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Wente was a member and assistant captain of the USA Women’s National Under 18 Team and participated in the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Under 18 Women’s World Championship. She was also a member of two USA Women’s Under 18 teams at the Under 18 Series vs. Canada in 2015 and 2016. She attended two USA Hockey Women’s National Festivals in 2015 and 2016 and participated in the 2015 and 2016 Girls Under 18 Player Development Camps and 2014 Girls 15 Player Development Camp.
In softball, Wente lettered and made all-conference in 2016 and the Crimson finished second in the section tournament. She is the starting centerfielder on the 2017 squad.
Of all her athletic achievements, Wente said she is proudest of her two-year membership on the USA Women’s National Under-18 Hockey Team, her participation in the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship (winning gold medals 2016 and 2017), leading the Crimson in points all four seasons and being selected a Ms. Hockey Top 5 Finalist.
Wente has an unusual habit in hockey.
“I carried a small blue cooler with me to every home and away hockey game,” she said. “It prompted a lot of questions about what was in my cooler. I carried the cooler my first game as a freshman. Since that game, I always brought a six-inch Italian BMT sub (toasted), red gatorade, my car keys and $10 bill.”
In school/community activities, Wente is a member of Maple Grove Senior High Link Crew and fellowship of Christian Athletes. She volunteers with the Osseo Maple Grove Youth Hockey Association “Skate with the Crimson” and Lifetime Fitness “Esprit de She.” She earned Student of the Year in Physical Education in 2015-2016 and Student of the Trimester in English in 2016.
Wente will be attending and playing hockey for the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Golden Gophers.
Wente will receive the award along with the other winners at a luncheon May 5 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Bloomington.
Contact Bob San at [email protected]