TV20 Meldon Law Scholar Athlete: Kate Pickens (Oak Hall)

Kate Pickens will be attending Vanderbilt University in Fall 2023
Pickens will attend Vanderbilt and seeks a career in molecular and cellular biology
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 8:18 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Throughout her time at Oak Hall, Kate Pickens has left her mark as a three-year captain in girls’ basketball and tennis. On the hardwood, she has been on James Ringdahl’s varsity since she was in sixth grade.

Pickens said, “Honestly, just having friends as well as teammates on the court with you. It really helps a lot.”

Ringdahl said, “The first time I met Kate. She was a five-year-old at my basketball camp. I have never seen that laser intense concentration before. She went home and drew up all the in bounds plays with colored pencils, so she would know them all and in case she got called up.”

Pickens said, “Coach Ringdahl is like a second father to me. He has always on my side since sixth grade, when we first started it is not only been like coaching. It’s been parenting in a way.”

Pickens brings her basketball intellect to the classroom. She has a GPA of 4.8 and qualified for Summa Cum Laude. The senior has been taking AP courses since her freshman year, will attend Vanderbilt in the fall seeking a career in Molecular and Cellular Biology

The senior standout said, “All through high school, I have always loved biology, way more than all the other sciences and I want to be a doctor.”

Pickens always had the DNA of a leader. it was inherited through her own family tree.

Ringdahl said, “Kate has been really a dream. She is fiery, she is very competitive, a lot like her dad and a lot like her mom. As parents say the fruit does not fall far from the tree.”

Pickens explained when maintaining time management, “Oh, it has been a challenge that’s for sure, but i have always been encouraged by Coach Ringdahl and her parents to manage my time as best as possible to use every minute of the day to finish my homework.

As she nears the end of her athletic will be the beginning of her road to being a doctor.

Kate Pickens. Our TV 20 Meldon Law Scholar Athlete of the Week.

Nominating a Scholar-Athlete

To nominate someone for Scholar-Athlete of the week, make sure he or she has at least a 3.0-grade average, is a major contributor in his or her sport, and a high school senior. We’ll need the name of the Scholar-Athlete, his or her school, and as much contact information as you can give us on him or her and the coach.

Send your information to Jake Rongholt at

The more information you give about the Scholar-Athlete the better!

Meldon Law has sponsored the Scholar-Athlete Program since 1997. Every week of the school year, a high school senior in the North Central Florida area is chosen as the Scholar-Athlete of the Week and given a $100 scholarship and a plaque. At the end of the school year, Meldon Law holds a banquet for all the winners and their families. Last year nearly 200 people attended the Scholar-Athlete Banquet, where one male and one female is chosen as The Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The winners receive a $1,000 scholarship plus a beautiful glass trophy commemorating their achievement. Starting in 2003 Meldon Law teamed up with WCJB TV20 to promote the event widely on TV20.

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