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.