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Practice helps athletes get better at their respective sports.

Not only was practice good for Conway graduate Kate Freyaldenhoven in cross country and track and field, but it also served her well for her college preparatory tests.

Freyaldenhoven, who was Conway’s salutatorian with a 4.47 GPA, took the ACT three times. She scored a 33 in her sophomore year, then a 34 in her junior year. Last July, Freyaldenhoven took the ACT for the third time and scored a perfect 36.

Scoring a 36 was important for Freyaldenhoven, who is the 2018-19 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Female Academic Athlete of the Year.

“It was a big decision for me to take it three times,” Freyaldenhoven said. “Ever since I was young, I wanted to get a 36. My parents were big in encouraging me.”

Freyaldenhoven also took the SAT as part of her requirements in the National Merit Scholar program. She took the PSAT as a junior, then took the SAT her senior year.

On the SAT, Freyaldenhoven scored 1500.

Freyaldenhoven credits her math, science and literature classes for allowing her to get experience under her belt for the ACT and SAT tests.

“I would receive encouragement from my parents and teachers,” Freyaldenhoven said. “It’s put me in a position to go to a college that I wanted to go to.”

Lisa Worlow, who is Conway’s cross country head coach and track and field assistant coach, was proud to coach Freyaldenhoven.

KATE FREYALDENHOVEN, CONWAY, AND ERIC WILLIAMS, LITTLE ROCK CENTRALKate Freyaldenhoven

SPORTS Cross country, track and field

COLLEGE Rhodes

GPA 4.47

ACT 36

NOTEWORTHY Salutatorian at Conway with a 4.47 GPA. … National AP scholar and National Merit Scholar. … Will run cross country and track and field at Rhodes College in Memphis. ... Plans to major in biochemistry and molecular biology.

“Kate is not only an excellent student-athlete but is a great role model for those around her,” Worlow said. “She is the type of student-athlete that will be the first to help another. She puts in hard work and it pays off.”

In addition to her regular classes, Freyaldenhoven took 12 Advanced Placement courses, receiving a perfect score of 5 in 10 of her 12 classes and landing a 4 in her other two courses.

“It was a challenge,” Freyaldenhoven said. “It took a lot of discipline. Time management was a big part of it.”

Outside of the classroom, Freyaldenhoven saw cross country and track and field as well as her dance classes as an escape.

“It was a good way to relieve stress from my schoolwork,” Freyaldenhoven said.

Freyaldenhoven was a National AP scholar and a National Merit Scholar. She was also a U.S. Presidential Scholar semifinalist. At Conway, Freyaldenhoven was National Honor Society vice president and Beta Club treasurer.

Also, Freyaldenhoven was named an Arkansas Governor’s Scholastic Honor Student and was awarded the Rotary Youth Leadership Award in Conway.

Freyaldenhoven will compete in cross country and track and field at Rhodes College in Memphis. She will major in biochemistry and molecular biology. After college, Freyaldenhoven plans to go to medical school.

The work that Freyaldenhoven has put in over the past four years is something she hasn’t taken for granted.

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