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Westbrook senior Alana Bochanis recently received the Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award from the CIAC. Bochanis has competed in several sports for the Knights, including four seasons with the field hockey team, despite being born with a congenital heart disease that has required her to have nine surgeries. Bochanis is also the president of her senior class at Westbrook. (Photo courtesy of Alana Bochanis )
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Westbrook High School senior and multi-sport athlete Alana Bochanis has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC).
Bochanis was born with congenital heart disease that required her to undergo surgery when she was just three months old. It was the first of nine surgeries that she has endured during her young life. Despite the incredible challenges that the disease presents, Bochanis was a member the Westbrook field hockey team for four seasons, in addition to playing three years on the softball team, one year with the girls’ basketball squad, and one season on the girls’ indoor track team. This spring, she’s planning on joining the girls’ tennis team at Westbrook.
“I think that it’s amazing to get recognition just for being myself. I was really surprised. I had no clue that it was happening. It was really a great feeling when they popped out of the office and told me I got the award,” Bochanis said. “I don’t think that it’s any big deal that I want to try different sports. It’s something that’s fun to do like any other normal person would do.”
As the Spirit of Sport honoree, Bochanis is Connecticut’s official nominee for the National Federation of State High School Association’s (NFHS) Spirit of Sport Award. An announcement on the selection of the national NFHS Spirit of Sport honorees will take place in March. The Spirit of Sport Award seeks to recognize individuals who exemplify positive ideals of education-based athletics. The CIAC began awarding the Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award in 2010. Since then, two Connecticut recipients have gone on to be recognized with the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award.
Bochanis has also maintained an exemplary academic record at Westbrook High School, where she serves as the senior class president and is a positive presence and leader in the community. In addition, on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, Bochanis will perform in the high school’s presentation of the play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall.
“I think that everyone should try something new and try to express themselves in different ways. Everyone needs to have an outlet creatively,” Bochanis said. “As long as everyone tries their best, then nothing can go wrong.”
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