Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Center Student Athlete of the Week: Annika Dellinger

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 8:50 PM EDT|Updated: May. 8, 2023 at 8:54 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I wanted to go to a place where I was surrounded by people who had similar ambitions as me.”

Annika Dellinger is the first Mountain View student in over 30 years to be accepted into an Ivy League University. This fall, she will the first-ever Mountain View student to attend Harvard.

“I’m also excited for what this might mean for the future of the school,” said Dellinger. “When I had my Harvard interview, my interviewer said if I was the first it would make it easier for future students to apply and get accepted.”

Over the past four years at Mountain View, Dellinger has led three sports and multiple clubs with the Generals. But it has been her work outside the classroom, founding the podcast Girl Power Gurus, that has helped her find her voice as a female leader in the community. In the podcast, Dellinger and her sister interview influential women from all over the world.

“A lot of people view these highly accomplished women as not even human. They’re just these intangible people who they can never imagine themselves being,” added Dellinger. “But when I talk to them, I realize that they’re just like you or me. They’re regular people who have done incredible things because they’re willing to apply themselves.”

From being one of the only athletes to wear a mask in 2021 to being a vocal advocate for the school name change at Mountain View, Dellinger is using her newfound voice to help create social change.

“She stands up for things that a lot of people don’t stand up for,” said head soccer coach Ginny Dellinger, who is also Annika’s mother. “Even if she has to be by herself, she’ll stand up for those things.”

Dellinger has also made a lasting impact in the classroom, where her work ethic catches the attention of teachers and classmates alike.

“Annika is one of the rare students who I feel like I’m going to say ‘I knew her when’ because at some point in her life, I feel like she’s going to have a huge impact on society,” said Susan Fream, the director of Massanutten Regional Governor’s School, where Dellinger attends morning classes.

Although Dellinger does not plan to continue her sports at the collegiate level, she is excited to explore new ones this fall.

“I would love to try fencing because I’ve never been able to do that before!”