HomeEventsKackstetter, Chin Receive CIF Athletes of the Year Honors

Kackstetter, Chin Receive CIF Athletes of the Year Honors

For much of the school year, San Marino High seniors Tessa Kackstetter and Elijah Chin have been standouts in their respective sports.

And in the classroom, the seniors have gone above and beyond in their studies.

For their efforts on and off the courts, Kackstetter and Chin were selected as CIF Student-Athlete of the Year, joining the baseball, softball and girls’ basketball teams as honorable mentions for the CIF Southern Section Team Academic Awards.

Each CIF-SS member school is entitled to name a male and a female “Student-Athlete of the Year” who must be a senior having maintained a minimum of a 3.5 GPA (4.0 scale) over the past three years, CIF officials said in a March 21 press release. In addition to earning a letter in at least one varsity sport, the student must have participated in extracurricular activities, such as music, drama and service groups. According to CIF, 405 student-athletes have each been named the individual Student-Athlete of the Year by their school.

Kackstetter was one of the main offensive threats for the San Marino girls’ volleyball team and will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall majoring biology to kick-start her pre-med endeavors.

“I feel like it’s a reflection of not only my own efforts, but the effort that I put into my team over the last four years,” Kackstetter said. “I’ve been playing on varsity since I was a freshman, so it means a lot to get that last piece of recognition. I couldn’t have done it without the girls on my team.”

Kackstetter added that the award was especially special since it highlighted academics.

“I worked really hard to keep my grades up throughout high school, so it was nice to have that reflected in this last little piece and to get something out of it,” Kackstetter said.

The senior participated in various clubs outside of school, such as the Medical Youth of San Marino and Lend a Paw organizations. She also represented San Marino High in the youth government program California Boys & Girls State. Outside of San Marino High, Kackstetter played club volleyball at San Gabriel Elite.

Photo by Sebastian Moore / San Marino boys’ basketball player Elijah Chin was honored with CIF Student-Athlete of the Year accolades.

Meanwhile, Chin played a key role for the Titans boys’ basketball team in the winter and will attend UC Santa Barbara.

“It’s really cool to be honored like that, especially at a competitive school like San Marino,” Chin said. “Everybody is in extracurriculars and doing sports and performing well, so to be honored as the one person that gets the award is pretty special. It’s gratifying in a way because I worked really hard for it, and it feels good to be recognized among my peers like that.”

Alongside basketball, Chin is part of the Titanium Robotics team, as well as the associated student body’s activities commissioner. Outside of school, he helps San Marino girls’ basketball coach Elizabeth Reuter coach her club team, among other various volunteer activities. 

The team awards, based on a cumulative grade point average, are awarded in 27 team sports.

Entries from 2,533 teams were received this year. To be considered, teams must have at least five student-athletes with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA average (4.0 scale) in the first semester or first two quarters of the 2023-24 school year.

Twenty-eight different CIF-SS member schools are represented amongst the team winners, according to the governing body. Schools are divided into two CBED enrollment categories, 1,500 and above and 1,499 and below.

The San Marino baseball team had a first semester team GPA of 3.385, the 40th highest in Southern Section schools with enrollment below 1,500. The softball team had a first semester team GPA of 3.531, the 22nd highest with schools with enrollment below 1,500, and the girls’ basketball team had a first semester team GPA of 3.632, the 35th highest in the section.

The team with the highest GPA in each enrollment category for each sport receives the award. The first-place teams receive a banner to commemorate their achievement.

All teams who participated and qualified receive Academic Award certificates for their student-athletes.

First published in the April 25 issue of the San Marino Tribune


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