116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Here are the five female finalists for Gazette Athlete of the Year 2021. The winner will be announced next Sunday.
Annie Gahan, Iowa City Regina
Will conclude her time at Regina with 17 varsity letters — five in softball, four apiece in volleyball, basketball and track and field.
Earned first-team all-River Valley Conference honors twice in volleyball and basketball.
In track, she was a 10-time state qualifier, including a fifth-place finish in the 400 hurdles as a sophomore and fifth in the 100 hurdles as a senior.
Member of Regina’s state-championship softball team in 2017 and was a second-team all-stater as a junior.
Will play softball at Kirkwood Community College.
Audrey Koch, Iowa City West
Helped lead the Trojans to the Class 5A state basketball semifinals, and earned first-team all-state honors, averaging 18.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Finished with 1,250 career points.
Claimed a state tennis doubles title with her sister, Emma Koch, as a freshman. She was undefeated in both singles and doubles that season, and West won the state team championship.
Will play basketball at Providence College.
Sasha Koenig, West Branch
The Gazette area basketball player of the year in 2021, she led the Bears to their best season in school history, advancing to the Class 2A state semifinals. Compiled 1,445 points, 434 assists, 354 rebounds, 268 steals in her career.
Three-year state qualifier in track, highlighted by a third-place finish in the 2019 shuttle hurdle relay.
Two-year letterwinner in softball.
Will play basketball at Bradley University.
Aurora Roghair, Iowa City West
Undefeated in all swimming races as a senior, winning four state championships. That includes all-time Iowa bests in the 500-yard freestyle (4:45.78) and the 400-yard free relay (3:23.73, she posted a 49.22-second split). Also captured titles in the 200 free (1:47.30) and 200 free relay. Automatic all-American in all four events.
Finished her career with six state titles and 14 top-five finishes. School records in seven events.
Will swim at Stanford University.
Emerson Whittenbaugh, Maquoketa Valley
After suffering a significant knee injury as a junior, she bounced back with a big senior year. Earned Class 2A first-team all-state honors in basketball after leading the Wildcats to a 26-1 record and a second-place finish at the state tournament. Also a first-team all-conference player as a sophomore.
Third-team all-state in volleyball after finishing second in the state (all classes) in kills. Finished with more than 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.
Will play basketball at Loras College.