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For Harvard-bound dynamo, motor never stops running

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Usually, success stories include dropping some activities in favour of others.

That doesn't apply to Yale Michaels.

The 17-year-old Grant Park High School student has been handling homework, sports and scholarly extracurriculars since junior high. But he's had to make some sacrifices.

"I think something had to get cut out of the mix, and for me, I guess that was sleep," Michaels said. "I have a lot of help from my parents and teachers at school to make sure I can do everything."

Their help culminated in a Credit Union Scholar/Athlete Award for Michaels, a $1,000 scholarship for a student who maintains a minimum 85 per cent average and competes in at least two interscholastic sports. Four such scholarships were handed out Thursday at Government House.

Michaels, who plays basketball, volleyball, football and rugby, maintains a 95 per cent average and will attend Harvard University in the fall.

His admission to the Ivy League school wasn't based solely on a punting leg with a 36-yard average, a talent he hopes to display with the Harvard football team.

"I think academic things (helped) as well -- my SATs... my transcript," Michaels said.

He has also been a marquee name on the high school science fair circuit, most recently competing at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Reno, Nev., in May.

"My project was about a technique that detects disease in cells that I was able to apply to cells growing in a petri dish," he said.

Michaels has also been researching how cancer cells communicate with each other.

With graduation and the Reno fair looming and rugby season beginning, among other commitments, his schedule this spring was super tight.

"It was crazy. Probably in April, I wouldn't get home till probably after 10 o'clock, with everything going on," Michaels said. But walking through the front door finally meant some personal time, right?

"I had to do homework eventually."

daniel.falloon@freepress.mb.ca

Students of their games

AthletIc highlights in the careers of the four 2009 Credit Union Scholar/Athlete Award winners.

"ö Jordan Hurton, Treherne Collegiate. He was MVP as the Tigers won the provincial "A" volleyball championship.

"ö Teslyn Anderson, Hapnot Collegiate. She ran seventh in the 3,000 metres at the provincials, with a mark of 11:45.10.

"ö Yale Michaels, Grant Park High School. "I think probably the highlight was in basketball when we won the conference championship."

"ö Andrew Kochan, St. Paul's High School. The Crusaders football lineman enjoyed making the championship game despite coming up short against the Churchill Bulldogs.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2009 C6

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