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Saturday, August 17, 2013
New York Mills Ninth In Challenge Cup Competition (UPDATED)

For the fifth time in 10 years, The Blake School has won the Minnesota State High School League Challenge Cup, again in Class AA. The Blake School is one of three schools to earn top honors during the 2012-2013 Challenge Cup competition. Wayzata and Bethlehem Academy of Faribault are also 2012-2013 Challenge Cup winners.

Now in its 10th year, the Challenge Cup is a statewide, year-long competition among Minnesota high schools. Points are awarded to schools based on their success in section and state fine arts and athletic tournaments. The school earning the most points at the end of the year in each classification (Class A, Class AA and Class AAA) receives the traveling Challenge Cup. The award is sponsored by Wells Fargo, the League’s premier corporate partner.

With 183 points, Bethlehem Academy earned its first Challenge Cup in the Class A small school competition. The Cardinals competed in seven state tournaments and won the Class A State Girls’ Volleyball Tournament for the sixth time. They also were runners-up in the Class A football playoffs, third in girls’ basketball, and fifth in girls’ dance team. Other Challenge Cup points came from participants in girls’ gymnastics and boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving.

The remaining top five Class A schools were Minneota (122 points), Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (82 points), Mahnomen (75 points) and Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (73 points).

New York Mills finished ninth with 66 points, while Nevis was 19th with 44 points.

Repeat Challenge Cup winner The Blake School participated in 17 state tournaments and racked up 667 points to win the Class AA award. The Bears won state championships in girls’ lacrosse, girls’ hockey, boys’ Alpine skiing, and girls’ and boys’ tennis. They also had individual champions in girls’ cross country running, debate, boys’ swimming and diving (200-yard medley relay and 200-yard individual medley), boys’ track and field (pole vault), boys’ tennis (singles and doubles), and girls’ track and field (pole vault, 1600-meter run, and 3200-meter run). The Bears won the Challenge Cup previously in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2012. They were runners-up in 2008.

Kasson-Mantorville (276 points), Perham (259 points), Rochester Lourdes (233 points) and St. Cloud Cathedral (224 points) are the remaining top five Class AA schools.

Staples-Motley was 21st with 136 points and Pequot Lakes was 26th with 116.5 points.

In the Class AAA competition, Wayzata scored 763 points to end the five-year run by Eden Prairie, which finished second with 731 points. Wayzata participated in 22 different post-season team and individual tournaments. The Trojans won championships in girls’ Nordic ski racing, girls’ soccer, boys’ tennis, and girls’ cross country running. They also had first-place finishers in girls’ golf, boys’ track and field (4x200-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay), and boys’ tennis (doubles). Other points came from the school’s adapted sports teams, its dance team, and the girls’ gymnastics, boys’ hockey, football, wrestling, baseball, boys’ golf, and girls’ and boys’ swimming and diving teams. Members of the debate team also contributed to the school’s success.

Behind Eden Prairie, Edina (576 points), Minnetonka (573 points) and Lakeville North (497 points) rounded out the top five.

The Challenge Cup champions will be recognized at ceremonies early this fall. The three schools will be presented with a traveling crystal Challenge Cup, which moves each year to the winning school.

Previous Challenge Cup winners include St. Cloud Cathedral—2004 and 2006; Eden Prairie—2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; Lakeville—2004 and 2005; The Blake School—2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012; Wayzata—2007; Perham—2008; Breck—2010 and 2011; Minneota—2011; and Dawson-Boyd—2012.

For a complete list of all the schools that earned Challenge Cup points for the 2012-13 school year, visit the League web site—www.MSHSL.org—and click on the Recognition tab.

Posted By MSHSL
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Former Wolverine Craig Named NSIC Player To Watch

The Bemidji State University volleyball team has been picked to finish 14th in the 2013 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Volleyball Coaches’ Poll, which was announced by the league today. The Beavers finished the 2012 season 4-23 overall with a 2-18 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) record in head coach Wayne Chadwick’s third season with the team.

For the fourth season under Chadwick’s tenure, BSU returns 10 players led by 2013 NSIC Player to Watch Rachel Craig (Jr., MH, Wadena, Minn.). A junior captain, Craig played in all 27 matches for the Beavers last season and totaled 158 kills to place her second on the team behind senior Bethany Thompson.  She posted a .183 attack percentage that put her fourth on the team and led the team in blocks for the second straight year with 56. Craig had seven games in which she produced an attacking percentage of .400 or better and racked up a season-high six blocks against Upper Iowa Sept. 29, tying a career mark.

As a freshman, Craig was named Bemidji State's 2011-12 Female Newcomer of the Year at the BSU Student-Athlete Appreciation Banquet after being the only freshman on the team to start all 28 matches for the Beavers. She produced 175 kills (1.82 k/s), which placed fourth on the team, led the team in hitting percentage with .231 (175-72-445) and tallied 56 blocks (0.58 b/s), leading the team in the category.

For the 10th consecutive season, six-time defending NCAA Division II National Champion Concordia University, St. Paul took top honors in the coaches’ poll. The Golden Bears received 15 first-place votes for a total of 225 points to edge out University of Minnesota Duluth at 209. UMD, which has NSIC Preseason Player of the Year Kate Lange, took home the only other first-place vote. Southwest Minnesota State University was selected third with 195 points after tying Concordia, St. Paul and Minnesota Duluth for last year’s regular-season crown. Bemidji State received 35 points in the poll to finish above Minot State University and University of Mary.

The 2013 regular season champion will be determined by a 20-game league schedule. The top eight teams in the conference standings at the end of the regular season will play in the single-elimination NSIC Volleyball Tournament held November 20, 23-24. Quarterfinals will be hosted on campus by the top four seeds while the semifinals and championship will be hosted by the highest remaining seed following the first round of play. The NSIC Tournament champion earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Bemidji State opens the 2012 season Sept. 6 in the first of four matches at the Maryville University Tournament in St. Louis, Mo. They open against Missouri Baptist University. The Beavers get their 20-match NSIC schedule underway Sept. 19 at St. Cloud State University.

Posted By Kyle Gylsen
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