Columbia High Senior Mae Dowling Wins NJSIAA Scholar Athlete of the Year


Cross country star Dowling, who recently broke the CHS record in the 1600m, is headed for George Washington University where she plans to study Human Services & Social Justice.

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The following press release is from the South Orange-Maplewood School District:

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. – Mae Dowling, the Columbia High School (CHS) runner who recently broke the school’s record in the 1600 meter set by one of the District’s principals, has been awarded the N.J. State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA)’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

“I am very grateful to receive this award,” Dowling said. “Being a part of athletics at Columbia is something I will always remember and be thankful for, and I am so appreciative to my teachers, teammates, coaches, and family who have supported my endeavors in both academics and athletics.”

Dowling ran cross country all four years of high school. She was also on the swim and lacrosse teams in her freshman and sophomore years before deciding to run cross country and track all year.

Mae Dowling (right) with MMS Principal Dara Crocker Gronau, whose 1600m record she broke this spring.

Dowling has committed to George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where she plans to study Human Services and Social Justice. She is a member of the National Honors Society and the Chinese National Honor Society and has been consistently on the honor roll through high school.

“Mae Dowling has been a consistent source of pride for Columbia High School and the entire District, and I want to congratulate her and her family on this very prestigious honor,” said Dr. Kevin F. Gilbert, Acting Superintendent of the South Orange and Maplewood School District. “She is known to be an outstanding athlete and an outstanding student. I have no doubt that she will be successful in her future endeavors.”

Each year, every member school selects a senior who plays an NJSIAA varsity sport, possesses a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, and exhibits outstanding school and community citizenship to be honored as an NJSIAA Scholar Athlete.

CHS Track and Cross Country Head Coach Alex Simon said that Dowling was chosen for the award because of her dedication to this program on and off the track.

“Her talents in the sport speak for themselves,” Simon said, noting her being an Essex County Champion in the 800,1600, and 3200 and competing multiple times in the nationals and the NJSIAA Meet of Champions ­– in addition to breaking the CHS record in the 1600.

“But it’s her support of her teammates and the dedication to her studies in academics that make her a Renaissance athlete,” Simon said. “She will be deeply missed in this program by her teammates, coaches, and running community, but we know she will move on to greater and bigger things, accomplishing every goal she sets out towards.”

Photo 1: Mae Dowling receiving the NJSIAA Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.

Photo 2: Mae Dowling poses with the NJSIAA Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Cannon, Mae’s mother.

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