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Home Page Photo Three returning champions win additional gold

Of the 10 returning champions, three of them struck gold again this year, all in Class A. Six competitors also won rare fourth medals this year.

Following are the highlights from each class:

Class A
Mounds Park Academy of St. Paul led all schools with three gold medals. Of the seven returning gold medalists, only three succeeded in winning an event again this year at the 2015 Minnesota State High School League Class A State Speech Tournament.

Sydney Erhardt of Cannon Falls was the only competitor to strike gold for a third consecutive year. She claimed her third consecutive title in Extemporaneous Speaking. It was also her fourth medal overall.

Anagha Komaragiri of Fairmont and Andrew Grant of Mounds Park Academy were the only other competitors to win second titles this year. Komaragiri claimed her second consecutive title in Informative Speaking and Grant won his second in Serious Interpretation of Drama. It was the second title overall for Komaragiri and the third for Grant.

Four additional defending champions were not so lucky this year. Neil Porter and Chloe Swanson of Wrenshall were looking for a second consecutive title in Duo Interpretation, but they fell short of qualifying for the finals.

Heidi Bau of Murray County Central of Slayton and Munira Khalif of Mounds Park Academy were the final returning champions. Bau was looking to repeat in Extemporaneous Reading, but placed eighth in this year’s finals. Khalif won in Serious Interpretation of Poetry last year and earned runner-up honors in Original Oratory this year. It was Bau’s second medal overall and Khalif’s fourth.

Mounds Park Academy led all schools with three gold medals and Sauk Centre and Staples Motley followed with two apiece. Besides Erhardt, Komaragiri, and Grant the other 2015 champions are: Elijah Sams of Staples Motley in Creative Expression; Chloë Litts of Staples Motley in Discussion; Cam Pederson and Abby Plumley of East Grand Forks in Duo Interpretation; Christopher Molenaar of New London-Spicer in Extemporaneous Reading; Aidan Beckman of Cotter of Winona in Great Speeches; Jamie Jennissen of Sauk Centre in Humorous Interpretation; Jennifer Portis of Mounds Park Academy in Original Oratory; Lily Satterlee of Sauk Centre in Serious Interpretation of Poetry; Allison Leoplod of Mounds Park Academy in Serious Interpretation of Prose; and Molly Dunn of River Valley in Storytelling.

Erhardt, Khalif, Tommy McCarthy of Adrian, Shane Price of Mankato Loyola, Molly Dunn of River Valley, and Matt Lockett of Cannon Falls all won coveted fourth medals this year.

In addition to Grant, eight other competitors also won third medals this year: Nicole Reigert of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Abby Plumley of East Grand Forks, Nick Reed of Jackson County Central, Allison Leopold of Mounds Park Academy, Emma Stacy of Mounds Park Academy, Hannah Sorenson of TrekNorth of Bemidji, Matthew Koring of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, and Grace Steward of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

In addition to Komaragiri and Bau, 21 other returning medalists also earned their second medals this year: Jodi Dents of Adrian, Katie Hieserich of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Molly Tengwall of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Matt Breuer of Cannon Falls, Katiana Fischer of Fairmont, Peter Nielsen of Fairmont, Julia Okerman of Fairmont, Knute Oldre of Luverne, Will Cipos of Mankato Loyola, Charlie Stejskal of Maple Lake, Erin Hackenmueller of Milaca, Collin Stumpf of Minnewaska Area of Glenwood, Kate Folkman of Morris Area, Alyna Kleinwolterink of Morris Area, Christopher Molenaar of New London-Spicer, Lily Satterlee of Sauk Centre, Chloë Litts of Staples Motley, Hailey Bruns of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, Bradley Foster of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, John Murphy of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, and Masen Virginia of Wrenshall.

Class AA
Chaska led all schools in gold medals, winning three. Of the three returning gold medalists, none succeeded in winning an event again this year at the 2015 Minnesota State High School League Class AA State Speech Tournament.

The three returning champions were Puneet Arora of Chanhassen, Jack Ellis of Orono, and Sophia Miliotis of Roseville Area. Arora was looking for his second consecutive title in Informative Speaking and Ellis was looking to repeat in Serious Interpretation of Drama. Arora placed sixth this year, earning his second medal overall, and Ellis claimed runner-up honors, earning his third medal overall.

Miliotis took top honors in Humorous Interpretation last year and placed second in Storytelling this year. This was also her third medal overall.

Chaska led the field with three gold medals, while Eastview of Apple Valley, Moorhead, Apple Valley, and Chanhassen each won two apiece. The 2015 champions are: Alyssa Teh of Chaska in Creative Expression; Hannah Davis of Chanhassen in Discussion; Tessa Dahlgren and Trevor Taylor of Apple Valley in Duo Interpretation; Siri Dove of Eastview in Extemporaneous Reading; Varoon Pazhyanur of Eastview in Extemporaneous Speaking; Molly Eldevik of Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park in Great Speeches; Micah Spieldenner of Chanhassen in Humorous Interpretation; Lizzie Kasper of Moorhead in Informative Speaking; Keiaireyona Brown of Apple Valley in Original Oratory; Laurel Mikkelson of Moorhead in Serious Interpretation of Drama; Monica Synstelien of Chaska in Serious Interpretation of Poetry; Parker Roth of Orono in Serious Interpretation of Prose; and Ben Cox of Chaska in Storytelling.

In addition to Ellis and Miliotis, Auna Lee of Moorhead also took home her third medal.

In addition to Arora, 21 other returning medalists also earned their second medals this year: Stephanie Kahle of Apple Valley, Parker Breza of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Molly Eldevik of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Puneet Arora of Chanhassen, Elizabeth Raymakers of Chanhassen, Connor Schwartz of Chanhassen, Micah Spieldenner of Chanhassen, Abe Stauber of Chanhassen, Monica Synstelien of Chaska, Nick Saxton of Eagan, Stephanie Butler of Lakeville North, Nick Furlong of Lakeville North, Sean Mullin of Lakeville North, Mia Miller of Moorhead, Sarah Nelson of Moorhead, Parker Roth of Orono, Cami Sharratt of Prior Lake, Kyle Christiansen of Roseville Area, Noah Lyden of Roseville Area, Eric Sobieck of Roseville Area, and Chaltu Musse of St. Paul Harding.

Advance News Release 2015 Class A Results 2015 Class AA Results

The Minnesota State High School League is celebrating its 100th year of providing extra-curricular opportunities in athletics and fine arts.

The League is proud of its 100-year legacy, and in honor of the milestone in 2016, we share yearly snapshots taken along the way.

Please join us in a celebratory look at our heritage.

Posted by Tim Leighton (tleighton@mshsl.org) - Updated 4/21/2015 8:13:40 AM

• About 2,000 fans from nearby Red Wing traveled the 38 miles to see the boys basketball team compete in the state tournament in Northfield. It would be the highest attended boys basketball state tournament in Northfield. The tournament would move three seasons later to the Twin Cities. Red Wing rewarded its fans with a 21-10 victory over Mankato in the championship game to finish the season 15-2.
• The Minneapolis Central basketball team plays in the National Interscholastic Tournament held at the University of Chicago rather than participating in the state tournament. The Pioneers finished third in the national tournament.
• Bemidji defeated Faribault 20-0 in the football state championship game at Northrop Field in Minneapolis. The game was not sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School Athletic Association.

Posted by Tim Leighton (tleighton@mshsl.org) - Updated 4/13/2015 10:29:13 AM

• A state track meet celebrated its 10th anniversary.
• Albert Lea finishes the season undefeated (17-0) following a 37-8 victory over New Ulm in the boys basketball championship game in Northfield. Albert Lea led 18-1 at the half. Earlier in the tournament, New Ulm needed a basket with six seconds left in regulation to get past Waseca, 13-12.
• Member-school Mechanic Arts High School won the St. Paul City Conference football championship with a 3-0 record. The Trainers outscored their conference opponents 93-0. Mechanic Arts finished 5-2-1 overall. Humboldt, Johnson and Central were the other schools in the conference playing football.

Posted by Tim Leighton (tleighton@mshsl.org) - Updated 4/13/2015 8:40:12 AM

• Waseca’s Lester Juhnke was the leading scorer in the boys basketball state tournament, averaging 14 points per game. In the 1917 state tournament, Rochester’s Neal Bay led all scorers with 9.5 per game. Only four more times in state tournament history was the leading scorer not in double figures: 1925, ’29, ’30, and ‘37.
• Brainerd Superintendent W.C. Cobb was elected vice president of the Minnesota State High School Athletic Association, which was beginning its third year. J.G Norby of Fergus Falls resigned from his position to accept a position as Inspector with the Minnesota State Department of Education.
• Wrote M.L Jacobson of the MSHAA’s committee in a handbook of rules and regulations governing high school sports: “The rules of the Association are the results of experience. They have been evolved step by step and been put in form at our annual meetings. They define our limitations as well as our privileges. They remove our high school athletic activities a long ways from the days of pick-up teams, quarrels, serious charges of unfairness, and intermittently severed relations between neighboring schools. Unpleasant situations still arise but they are the exception, while before the days of our association, they seemed the rule.’’

Check back for more weekly looks at the MSHSL's "100 years of memories."

More of the Countdown to 100
2015 ExCel Awards
Home Page Photo Minnesota State High School League Honors Students for Leadership, Community Service

Celebrating its 19th year of recognizing high school juniors, the Minnesota State High School League will honor the 2015 ExCEL Award recipients during ceremonies at the State Girls' State Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 21.
ExCEL—Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership—is a unique recognition award that is given annually to high school juniors who are leaders in their schools and who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service.
The 2015 ExCEL award recipients are engaged in life-changing projects that build stronger, healthier, and safer communities. They work voluntarily to end hunger, house the homeless, help the environment, and raise funds for medical research. Many of these student leaders are involved in 4-H and FFA outreach activities while others coach youth sports, teach Sunday school, assist seniors, visit shelters, and tutor at-risk kids.
"There are so many reasons to be proud of these young men and women," said Lisa Lissimore, the associate director who oversees the ExCEL program. "They live their life serving and lifting up others without expecting recognition or reward. They're service–centered and deserving of this award," Lissimore explained.
The ExCEL award program began in 1996. Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process that involves League member schools and an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. More than 4,000 students have been recognized with this award program. Two-hundred and forty-nine students were nominated by their schools this year.
KSTC- TV, Channel 45, the League's broadcast partner, will recognize the 2015 ExCEL award recipients during its broadcast of the semi-finals of the State Girls' Basketball Tournament. Each student will also participate in an on-court award ceremony during the halftime of the Class AA girls' basketball championship game on Saturday, March 21.

Following is the list of the 2015 ExCEL Award winners:
Kennadie Anderson, MoraAlexis King, Nevis
Lucas Arndt, OwatonnaZachary Lutz, Crookston
Zachary Behnke, St. Paul Humboldt Kiefer Miller, Nevis
Laura Bestul, Eastview, Apple Valley Katie Moynihan, Apple Valley
Matthew Biegler, Underwood Bjorn Pearson, Cannon Falls
Ben Borash, Royalton Juliana Pederson, Westbrook-Walnut Grove
Rose Bruns, Edina Ella Perrault, Marshall School, Duluth
Erin Budin, Tri-City United, Montgomery Josie Schieffert, Sleepy eye
Emmy Buntrock, Dover-Eyota Emma Smith, Owatonna
Alyssa Dalen, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa SSara Stoneberg, Tracy Area
Anna Fasen, Monticello Keith Sullivan, Elk River
Adam Fenlason, Brandon-Evansville Kunal Thakur, East Ridge, Woodbury
Mariel Ferragamo, St. Peter Patrick Thofson, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial
Thomas Fischer, Marshall Natalie Timm, Springfield
Rishabh Gupta, Eastview, Apple Valley Payton Vold, Red Rock Central, Lamberton
Dan James, Edina Klarissa Walvatne, Battle Lake

Additional information about the 2015 ExCEL Award recipients may be obtained on the ExCEL page.

Coming Soon: The Four Corners Of Minnesota
Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 4/20/2015 11:02:42 PM

Minnesota is a vast state, as we all know, covering almost 87,000 square miles. It’s the 12th-largest state in the nation and is bordered by North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin, along with Lake Superior and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

During many years of writing about high school sports and activities, I have traveled all over Minnesota. An idea that has rattled around in my head for a long time is coming to fruition this spring. I call this project The Four Corners of Minnesota, and it’s exactly what you might think.

I am in the process of visiting the high schools that are located in the corners of the state … or closer to the corners than any other schools. I have already been to extreme northwest Minnesota to spend some time at Kittson Central and Lancaster, two small schools that form the Kittson County Central sports cooperative. Lancaster, which is north of Kittson Central High School in Hallock, is 12 miles from the Canadian border.

In the coming days I will make similar visits to Cook County High School in Grand Marais on the shore of Lake Superior, Hills-Beaver Creek in the southwest corner of Minnesota, and Caledonia and Spring Grove, two southeast Minnesota schools that have some independent teams of their own and cooperative teams in other sports.

The end result will be four John’s Journal stories about the corner schools, with photo galleries from each posted on the MSHSL Facebook page.

The schools involved in this project are similar in many ways; agriculture is a major industry in most of their communities, for example. And the schools are little, with Lancaster (the smallest in the project) having just 53 students in grades nine through 12. The largest of the schools is Caledonia with a high school enrollment of 241. Considering that 13 high schools in the Twin Cities have enrollments of between 2,000 and 3,000 students, these corner schools are tiny. This project will provide people who have been involved only with large schools some idea of life in small schools.

The people in the corners of the state are extremely proud of their schools and their teams, and they take great satisfaction in the students who represent them in athletic and scholarly competition. Community life often revolves around the schools, the teams and the students.

As Kittson Central athletic director Terry Ogorek told me, “Things are always changing. We’ve got consolidations, we’ve got sports co-ops, job descriptions change, mascots change. But the one constant thing is the student body.”

You can follow along with me via Twitter (@MSHSLjohn) as I visit the remaining schools.

*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 499
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2014-15: 9,159

More of John's Journal

League News
MSHSL Behavior Expectations 
Bd of Director's Mtg Synopsis April 2015 
April Board Agenda 
March Board Workshop Agenda 
MSHSL hires two new staff members 
2015 Representative Assembly Item 
2015 ExCEL Winners Announced 
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