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Mertens, Armstrong, are Triple ‘A’ recipients

Téa Armstrong is also named Sub-Section 6 Triple ‘A’ awardee

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Jan 31, 2021

Téa Armstrong, left, and Luke Mertens, right, were recently named as the Triple “A” Award (Arts, Academics and Athletics) recipients at Blue Earth Area High School.

Two Blue Earth Area High School seniors were recently named as the 2021 Triple “A” (Academics, Arts and Athletics) Award recipients at BEA.

Luke Mertens and Téa Armstrong are the two selected students, who will be formally honored later in February.

Honorees are selected on their participation in the arts and athletics, as well as their academic achievements. Both Mertens and Armstrong have been extremely active at BEA, and have spent their entire education years in the district’s schools.

Armstrong is not just the female Triple “A” Award honoree at BEA. It was just announced this past Wednesday that she is also the Sub-Section 6 Triple “A” winner. She earned the designation out of the 10 other school’s entrants in the sub-section.

Now she will go on to Section Triple “A” competition with three other sub-section winners, so she is in the final four. Designees of the eight sections move on to state competition.

Here is the background of BEA’s two Triple “A” Award honorees.

Téa Armstrong

Armstrong is the daughter of Travis and Tami Armstrong of Blue Earth. She has a younger sister, Addison, who is in ninth grade.

In sports, Armstrong has been a three sport athlete, participating in tennis, basketball and track. In addition, she has also been a manager for the Buc’s football team in the fall.

“I have served as a captain of the tennis and basketball teams this year, and I will for track, too,” Armstrong says.

In tennis she has been playing at No. 1 singles for the past three years, and has been at the State Tournament individually four times and with the team three out of the last four years.

In track Armstrong has been a member of several relay teams for 4×100 and 4×200, as well as competing in individual races. She has also competed in the shot put.

Armstrong has been selected All-Conference in both of those two sports.

As far as the arts are concerned, Armstrong has been involved musically, as a member of the choir, Chamber singers and playing violin in the orchestra.

Academically, Armstrong has been on the honor roll all of her high school career and on the high honors list all of her freshman, sophomore and senior years.

“I was also named to the All-Academic State Tennis Team this year,” she adds.

Armstrong also stays busy with lots of other activities at the school and in the community.

“I am the senior class vice president, and I was the junior class vice president last year,” she says. “And I am on the student council.”

She is in Math League and is a member of the National Honor Society at BEA.

“I also am in Peer Helping and I am the Blood Drive coordinator,” she adds. “And I teach Sunday School at church.”

What does this busy girl do for fun in her spare time?

“Well, I love sports, and I like to listen to music and play my violin,” she says. “And I like to hang out with my friends.”

Armstrong is going to head off to the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire this next fall, where she plans to major in nursing.

She might also play tennis there, but says right now there is not a tennis coach at the college, so she will wait and see if that happens,

“I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and parents for helping me,” she says. “And all the previous BEA students who were role models for me throughout the years.”

Luke Mertens

Mertens is the son of Kevin and Diana Mertens of Easton. He has two older siblings, Rachel and Jason, who also both attended school at BEA.

In sports, Mertens has been a football player and wrestler throughout his high school days – and even earlier. He also played varsity baseball in his sophomore year, at third base.

Mertens has actually been playing football since the fourth grade.

This past season he was the offensive right tackle and defensive end for the Bucs.

“We were undefeated this past season and made a run at state both this year and last year,” Mertens says. “There was not a state tourney this past season but we won our Section.”

He was a captain on the team, was an All-District player and was also named the Offensive Lineman of the Year for the district.

In wrestling, Mertens is competing at 220 pounds and made it to the State Individual Tournament last season at 195 pounds, and was part of the team making it to third at state.

He is a Buccaneer wrestling team captain this year.

As far as the Arts go, Mertens is in choir and has been in band his freshman through junior years.

“I decided to take a year off from band and really concentrate on my studies,” Mertens says.

That has paid off as he has been on the high honors list all four years of high school, and currently carries a 4.01 grade point average.

“My favorite class has been a calculus pre-college course with Mr. Plocker,” he adds. “It was really fun.”

His other school activities include being a part of Peer Helping.

Mertens is planning on heading to the University of Wisconsin – Stout, which is in Menominee, Wisconsin, this next fall.

He plans on majoring in mechanical engineering and playing football there.

“It is Wisconsin’s premier polytechnic school,” Mertens explains. “They’re very hands on in their classrooms. They have a lecture on something and they have the machines right in the same classroom to try out what you’ve learned. That is huge for engineering studies.”

They also have a job placement rate of 98 percent, Mertens adds, which is also a big deal.

“I also would like to thank my parents, coaches, friends and teammates for always pushing me to improve,” Mertens says. “Without that, I would not have been able to accomplish what I have accomplished.”