Three Utahns are among the 139 high school seniors chosen nationwide as 1988 Presidential Scholars for their achievements in academics and in the arts.

Chih Yu Yang of Provo High School was one of 18 students from around the county honored for accomplishments in the performing or creative arts.Heather V. Linebarger of Timpview High School in Provo and Yuen Chau of Jordan High School in Sandy were among the 121 academic winners.

The Presidential Scholars will each receive $1,000 and will be honored next month in Washington, D.C. They will be awarded medallions at ceremonies at the White House.

Some 1,500 high school seniors who scored high on the Scholastic Aptitude Test or the American College Test and who had top grades and were active in extracurricular activities were invited to apply for the honor last fall.

Earlier this year, the field was narrowed to 500 on the basis of student essays, self-assessments, school recommendations and transcripts. Finally, at least two winners were chosen from each state, one male and one female.

Linebarger, 17, called the award "the highest honor you could receive for academics in the nation. It's the top award."

The winner of numerous academic honors, including being named a Deseret News-KSL Sterling Scholar, she was also first runner-up in Utah's Junior Miss pageant.

Linebarger said she plans to study chemistry and then attend law school at Brigham Young University, where she has already received a scholarship.

She said she has toured the White House during a visit to Washington, D.C., but said next month's award ceremonies there will be the first time she's been there "for real."

The other two Utah winners could not be reached for comment early Tuesday.