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Skyline High School senior Eleanor Wikstrom recently was named one of the California Interscholastic Federation’s two Scholar-Athletes of the Year, the first-ever student from Oakland to receive the honor.
The CIF named Wikstrom as one of the honorees May 11 out of some 830,000 student-athletes across the state. While setting records as the captain of Skyline High’s track and field and cross-country teams, Wilkstrom has maintained a 4.0 GPA and will attend Harvard University later this year.
Wikstrom has also placed first four times in the Oakland Unified School District’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Festival and was the city of Oakland’s vice youth poet laureate for 2019.
“The purpose of all of the hard work, the discomfort, and the sacrifice was the pursuit of excellence, which never really ends,” Wikstrom said. “In this way, it is perhaps because I never considered an award like this to be the end goal that I ultimately ended up winning it.”
Wikstrom was the 2019 Oakland section champion for cross country and holds Oakland section records in multiple cross country and track and field events. She plans to join Harvard’s cross country and track and field teams.
She said she plans to study government and English at Harvard — “hopefully in person” — on a pre-med track, with a goal of eventually working for the United Nations or as a member of Congress, focusing on education policy and humanitarian aid.
“Not only does she set a remarkable example for her classmates and the students coming up behind her, Ms. Wikstrom is also a vivid reflection of Oakland, the community she credits with making her who she is,” Oakland Unified Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said.
Wikstrom lamented the loss of her senior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but said she has kept up with her friends, teammates and family online.
“My friends and I still held a virtual ‘prom’ and have plans to do something similar for the other senior events,” she said.
Wikstrom will receive a $5,000 scholarship for being named the CIF’s top student-athlete. Another 20 student-athletes — including Coliseum College Preparatory Academy students Carla Franco-Felix and David Robles — across the state were honored as student-athletes and received $1,000 scholarships.