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Harden, Johnson garner recognition
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McKenzy Harden starred at No. 1 singles on Ceres High School's varsity girls tennis team.

Bulldog Jode Johnson shined in softball and basketball.

The two seniors attended the Sportsmen of Stanislaus Club's 43rd Outstanding Athlete Award Banquet on Wednesday, March 31.

Harden and Johnson were finalists in the Girls Prep Division.

McKenzy and Jode both enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience despite failing to claim the top prize.

They were edged out by Modesto Christian's Brandi Henton.

She averaged 15.8 points per game as the Crusaders compiled a 27-8 overall record and won Sac-Joaquin Section and Northern California championships. Henton earned a scholarship to Cal State Long Beach.

Enochs' Shawnee Martinez (golf) and Johansen's Taylor Hansen (water polo) were also nominated for the prestigious award.

"I was just honored to be up there with all of those great athletes," McKenzy said. "They're pretty amazing."

Harden sat next to UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel during the press conference leading up to the award ceremony. He was the guest speaker.

"He's a cool guy," McKenzy said.

Harden accomplished every goal during her final year with the Bulldogs.

She captured her third consecutive conference title.

She led Ceres High to a share of the Valley Oak League championship.

She placed in the top 4 at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II singles tournament.

She finished the season with a 44-1 mark.

McKenzy had a career record of 161-9. She won 97 straight league matches.

Johnson won the VOL MVP award during her junior campaign with Ceres High's softball team.

The strong-armed shortstop ranked first in batting average (.571), home runs (5), runs scored (21) RBIs (24), slugging percentage (1.119) and on-base percentage (.617).

She also had nine stolen bases, the second most in the VOL.

Jode received first-team, all-conference honors in basketball. She averaged 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

McKenzy and Jode both plan to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Harden will attend Cal State Stanislaus.

Johnson is weighing several offers.