Tilton, Lenkaitis earn 2018-19 Scholar-Athlete Awards

RTHS graduates Abby Tilton and Connor Lenkaitis were named the 2018-19 Rochelle News-Leader Scholar-Athlete Award winners during Tuesday's basketball game against Morris. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Former RTHS student-athlete receive Rochelle News-Leader honors

ROCHELLE — Abby Tilton and Connor Lenkaitis achieved high academic honors throughout their time at Rochelle Township High School. The former Hub and Lady Hub student-athletes were recognized with the 2018-19 Rochelle News-Leader Scholar-Athlete Awards on Tuesday.

Both Tilton and Lenkaitis were multi-sport athletes in high school. Tilton made her mark with the Lady Hub track and field team, competing in the sprint relays and the hurdling events while making appearances in both the indoor and outdoor state championship meets. Tilton also played volleyball for the Lady Hubs, helping Rochelle to a 16-win season her senior year.

“I really appreciate the award,” Tilton said. “I put a lot of hard work into my high school sports and academics. It feels great to be back and to receive the award alongside my friend Connor. I really enjoyed my teammates and all of the support from the school. I think RTHS does a really good job of supporting its athletic programs. I always felt proud to wear a Rochelle uniform.”

Lenkaitis also stood out in track and field as an RTHS student-athlete, racing in the 400-meter and 800-meter runs as well as the 1600-meter relay his senior season. Additionally, Lenkaitis competed with the golf, cross country and basketball programs during his time in high school.

“It means a lot to know there’s continued support from the Rochelle community,” Lenkaitis said. “My favorite part about being an RTHS student-athlete was the growth I experienced and learning more about myself and my teammates. I formed bonds with a lot of different people. I miss having the chance to see and laugh with everybody.”

Tilton currently attends Marquette University, where she’s studying business. Lenkaitis currently studies chemical engineering at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he hopes to take his education and pursue a career in renewable resources. Both RTHS graduates are enjoying their first-year experiences in college.

“It’s fun and I’ve met a lot of new people,” Lenkaitis said. “I see new faces every day.”

“College is going great and I had a really good first semester,” Tilton said. “I’m getting along with my roommate and I’m making new friends… I love my school and there’s so much to do in Milwaukee. It’s a whole new world out there.”

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