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Home Page Photo Three returning champions win additional gold

Of the 10 returning champions in both classes, only three struck gold again. Four 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 two gold medals apiece. Cannon Falls captured its third consecutive team championship with its seven medalists and 41 points.

Of the six returning gold medalists, two succeeded in winning an event again this year. Pranay Somayajula of Mounds Park Academy defended his crown in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Ellie Hansen of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley won in Duo Interpretation with Emma Burpo. Hansen won in Original Oratory last year. It was the third medal overall for Somayajula, Hansen, and Burpo.

Brianna Kreft of West Central Area of Barrett, who was looking for her second title in Extemporaneous Reading, earned runner-up honors in the same category this year. It was also the third medal overall for Kreft.

The final returning champions were: Maggie Schmaltz of Eden Valley-Watkins; Moriah Lippert of Maple River of Mapleton; and Grant Schlichting of Cannon Falls. Schmaltz took top honors in Great Speeches in 2017 and placed fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking this year. Lippert, who won in Serious Interpretation of Poetry last year, placed sixth in Original Oratory this year.

Schlichting was the winner in Extemporaneous Speaking in 2016, and he placed fourth in the same category this year. Overall, it was the fourth medal for Schmaltz and Schlichting.

Mounds Park Academy led all schools with two gold medals and 11 schools followed with one apiece. The 2018 champions are: Chad Fleischhacker of Rush City in Creative Expression; Maia Bowman of East Grand Forks in Discussion; Ellie Hansen and Emma Burpo of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley in Duo Interpretation; Brenndan Walton of Stewartville in Extemporaneous Reading; Pranay Somayajula of Mounds Park Academy of in Extemporaneous Speaking; Sarah Ley of Mounds Park Academy in Great Speeches; Hope Danzl of Melrose Area in Humorous Interpretation; Kaitlyn Vogel of River Valley, a co-op between Sleepy Eye, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, and Springfield, in Informative Speaking; Sarah Best of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in Original Oratory; Jordan Peterson of New London-Spicer in Serious Interpretation of Drama; Hannah Singewald of Cannon Falls in Serious Interpretation of Poetry; Evelyn Humphrey of Kenyon-Wanamingo in Serious Interpretation of Prose; and Landon Javens of Mankato Loyola in Storytelling.

Paul Cushman of Wabasha-Kellogg was the only other competitor to win a coveted fourth medal this year. He placed seventh in Storytelling.

Six additional competitors won third medals this year: Lexi Fischer of Fairmont; Sarah Dunn of River Valley; Samantha Nupson of Cass Lake-Bena; Sarah Best of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown; Jordan Peterson of New London-Spicer; and Anthony McGee of Pipestone Area.

Class AA
Apple Valley, Moorhead, and Roseville Area led all schools in gold medals, winning two apiece. Moorhead also claimed top honors in the team competition for a third consecutive year. The Spuds finished with 57 points this year.

Of the four returning gold medalists, only one succeeded in winning an event again this year. Izzy Larson of Moorhead, who won with Devon Solwold in Duo Interpretation in 2016 and 2017, took top honors in Serious Interpretation of Poetry this year. With the win, Larson was the only Class AA qualifier to earn a coveted fourth medal this year.

The other returning champions were Josh Weinstein of Lakeville North, Ola Adebayo of Rochester John Marshall, and Tre’ Edgerton of East Ridge of Woodbury. Weinstein was looking for his second consecutive title Serious Interpretation of Drama, but settled for runner-up honors this year. Adebayo, who won in Serious Interpretation of Poetry in 2017, placed fifth in the same event this year.

Edgerton, who won in Serious Interpretation of Poetry in 2016, competed in Original Oratory this year. He claimed second-place honors.

Apple Valley, Moorhead, and Roseville Area claimed two gold medals apiece and seven other schools claimed one medal each. The 2018 champions are: Campbell Bernstein of Eastview of Apple Valley in Creative Expression; Joe Anderson of Elk River in Discussion; Vakare Bartkaitis and Kellin Robinson of Roseville Area in Duo Interpretation; Sam Roach of Mankato West in Extemporaneous Reading; Aaron Lutz of Eagan in Extemporaneous Speaking; Sophie Hermann of Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park in Great Speeches; Sam Sweere of Lakeville North in Humorous Interpretation; Trinity Ek of Apple Valley in Informative Speaking; Halima Badri of Apple Valley in Original Oratory; Kaden Moszer of Moorhead in Serious Interpretation of Drama; Izzy Larson of Moorhead in Serious Interpretation of Poetry; Jason Sobieck of Roseville Area in Serious Interpretation of Prose; and Josiah Chock of Chaska in Storytelling.

Three competitors earned their third medals this year: Campbell Bernstein of Eastview; Ava Ewald of Chanhassen; and Tony May of East Ridge.

Advance News Release Class A Results Class AA Results
Transfer Eligibility Review
General Information for Students and Parents

The MSHSL understands that varsity eligibility is important to you. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding transfer eligibility. The information contained herein is not a bylaw or policy and is intended only to provide an overview of the transfer eligibility process. For the most current version of Bylaw 111 and MSHSL policies, please visit www.mshsl.org. Before transferring schools, please review the following so that you will understand the transfer’s impact on your varsity eligibility.

1.What is a transfer?

A transfer student is a student who discontinues enrollment and attendance in any high school, public or non-public, and enrolls in any other high school in Minnesota, or outside of Minnesota. Essentially, a transfer occurs anytime a student’s school of record changes. A transfer is considered complete when the student attends class or participates with an athletic program at the new school. This includes home schools, charter schools, and online schools.
2.If I transfer to a new high school, will I be eligible for varsity competition?

If you transfer to a new high school, you will be eligible for varsity athletic competition if:
1.You are enrolling in 9th grade for the first time;
2.Your entire family moves to a new residence in a different attendance area;
3.Your residence is changed pursuant to a court order;
4.Your parents are divorced and you move from one parent to another.
(This option may be used just one time after you enroll in 9th grade); or
5.You and your family have moved to Minnesota from another state or country.
If none of the above apply, you will be ineligible (for one calendar year from the date of the transfer) from participating in interscholastic varsity athletic competition. You will, however, be eligible to participate in varsity tryouts, practices, scrimmages, jamborees, etc., and non-varsity (JV, B-squad, etc.) competitions. You will not be eligible for varsity competition.
3.What happens if none of the five provisions above apply and I am determined ineligible?

If none of the five provisions set forth above apply and you are determined ineligible, you can request that the MSHSL review the determination of ineligibility. There are seven circumstances with which you can request a review:
1.You are transferred to a new high school within the same school district;
2.A change in family circumstances such as adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent.
3.A substantial negative change in your family’s economic status. For example, if one or both parent(s) loses their job or other means of income.
4.School student Bullying or Harassment as identified in Minnesota State Statutes 121A.03 and 121A.031.
5.Administrative error. For example, the receiving school misapplied MSHSL bylaws or policies.
6.You have completed a licensed program for chemical dependency or mental illness (provided all other eligibility rules are followed) and the receiving school will better serve the student’s needs.
The principals and activities directors from both the sending and receiving school agree that varsity competition eligibility should be considered.
4.How do I request a Transfer Eligibility Review?

When you enrolled at your new school [receiving school] and indicated an interest in participating in athletics, the school compiled information and submitted a student transfer report to the MSHSL. The transfer report contains general information on your previous school(s) and the reason for your transfer. Based on this information, the receiving school makes aninitial eligibility determination. That determination is sent to the MSHSL for review to ensure compliance with MSHSL bylaws and policies.

If you are determined ineligible, you can request further review by the MSHSL. Visit with the athletic director at the Receiving School and request a Transfer Eligibility Review. The athletic director will submit the request and supporting documentation to the League for review.

All denied Transfer Eligibility Review requests for varsity competition eligibility will be reviewed by the MSHSL Board of Directors Eligibility Committee for further review or referral to an Independent Reviewer. Ultimately, the final decisions on eligibility will be made by the MSHSL Board of Directors.
5.What types of information and documentation should I provide in support of my request for a Transfer Eligibility Review?

You should provide a written explanation and documentation supporting your request for review. This is your opportunity to support your request for eligibility so please submit whatever relevant documentation/information you have. Below are common types of documentation the MSHSL looks for under each of the seven review options:
1. Internal district policies (for transfers in districts with multiple high schools)
  • The district policy or policies that precipitated the transfer
  • Correspondence from the school district describing the circumstances of the transfer
    2. Adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent
  • Adoption Decree, death certifi cate, CHIPS order
    3. Substantial negative change in the economic status
  • The MSHSL typically considers three years of tax returns showing a negative change in the Adjusted Gross Income.
  • You are encouraged to submit any other documentation showing a negative change in economic status. For example, employer notification indicating the recent loss of income or loss of employment, disability determinations from a medical professional or government agency that indicate a reduction in the ability to be employed.
  • NOTE: Discretionary spending decisions will generally not be considered to be a negative change in economic status.
    4. School Bullying/Harassment
  • Documentation that a complaint was made under the district policy prior to the transfer
  • A report from the sending school that it has investigated and determined a case of bullying or harassment pursuant to Minnesota Statute 121A.03 and 121A.031.
  • Any other documentation of bullying or harassment at the sending school
    5. Administrative Error
  • Documentation from a school administrator explaining the error or errors made in the initial eligibility determination.
    6. Completion of a licensed program for treatment of alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or emotional disturbance provided all other eligibility rules are followed.
  • Documentation from the director of the treatment facility/provider showing completion of a licensed program by the student
  • Documentation to show the receiving school provides specific aftercare for the student.
    7. School Administrators request for review
  • The administrators from both schools agree varsity competition eligibility should be considered for the student. This Transfer Eligibility Review provision is applicable only for students who transfer from one MSHSL member school to another MSHSL member school.
  • The written request from the administrators at both the receiving school and sending school should include all documents they believe support eligibility.
  • This provision requires certifi cation from both schools confirming no recruitment or inappropriate contact has occured.
    Read More

    The Day Spring Finally Arrived In Minnesota
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 4/23/2018 5:43:01 PM

    Jef Winterlin had a nightmare. The girls track coach at Burnsville High School – like everyone involved in spring sports, haunted by the extended Minnesota winter -- woke up Monday morning thinking, “Did it snow?”

    He quickly realized that the ground was clear, the sun was shining and his team would be able to actually compete outdoors later in the day. He thought, “Hey it didn’t snow! We have a meet!”

    It’s been that kind of winter. Teams in MSHSL outdoor spring sports (track, golf, baseball, softball, lacrosse and boys tennis) have been cooped up in gymnasiums and other tight quarters, waiting for spring to arrive. Monday was the big day, at least in the Twin Cities area, with snow that caused schools to close a week earlier having melted and given way to bright sunshine and temperatures casting furtive glances at 70 degrees.

    The Burnsville girls and boys track teams joined with teams from Lakeville North and Shakopee for a meet at Vaughan Field in Shakopee that began at 4 p.m.

    “Oh, it’s been just terrible, fighting with all the other sports for two inches of gym space,” Winterlin said. “We’ve been lucky, we’ve truly got the best kiddos ever, they have great attitudes. But it’s been rough.”

    Earlier Monday, the baseball teams from Centennial and Spring Lake Park kicked off their season with a game at the University of Minnesota’s Siebert Field. There was a pile of snow beyond the left field fence, but the playing surface is artificial turf other than home plate and the pitcher’s mound. The game began at 10 a.m. and the Cougars and Panthers had a grand time.

    A year ago, Centennial played its first game on April 7 and Spring Lake Park did the same on April 11.

    “It was great. I had a great time out here,” said Spring Lake Park senior Mickey Zeller after Centennial defeated the Panthers 6-1. “We’d been in a gym the past three weeks. That was tough.”

    Senior teammate John Carlson said working out indoors “was kind of a grind. It was a little hard to keep the guys motivated, but when coach told us we had a game scheduled here, we were fired up right away.”

    No admission was charged at Siebert Field and there were no concessions, no stadium announcer, no music and the scoreboard was not used. None of that diminished from the fact that the game was played outdoors, where fans in shorts and t-shirts basked in the sun.

    The track meet at Shakopee was the first or second of the season for the teams involved. Lots of athletes got to participate, with multiple relay teams from the same school competing at times. And the best news was that no one was dressed in multiple layers.

    “The weather today? There are no clouds in the sky, it’s really clear, it’s a little bit windy,” said Lakeville North freshman Karyn Senne. “The sun’s out and shining and the UV index is 6, which means you can get tan. And it’s warm. It’s the perfect temperature for track.”

    Ilsa Khawaja, a Lakeville North sophomore, was just like everyone who was able to compete outdoors Monday: Grateful.

    “It’s really crowded and hot in the gym, so it feels good to be outside,” she said. “We did the same thing every day, and we were sprinting through our school hallways and the carpet is slippery.”

    With a promising weather forecast, there were lots of smiles Monday. Coaches, athletes and officials joked about the winter that never wanted to end. There will be stories to tell for a long time.

    “One day we were supposed to do Feed My Starving Children,” said Centennial junior Dalton McManamara, referring to an organization that uses volunteer groups to pack meals formulated for malnourished children around the world.

    “But that day we had a huge snowstorm so that got called off.”

    --To see a photo gallery, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

    Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

    More of John's Journal
    Aligning Common Language with School Boards to Ensure a Purpose-Based Athletics Culture

    There are a number of important steps to creating a purpose-based interscholastic athletics culture. One key undertaking is the adoption of a common language within your school community. A question many coaches and athletic directors ask is how to establish a common language and subsequent buy-in from school administration and school boards. It is easy to recognize how important common language is within an athletic department’s culture; finding ways to align this common language with school district policymakers can be easier said than done. This is especially true without a game plan on how to connect with our important stakeholders.

    Idea sharing is a hallmark of educational-athletics. In this post, I want to share an idea from my school’s InSideOut Initiative journey as we work through establishing a common language and a collective definition of success for our programs. It is my hope the following ideas can be adapted and improved to trigger your own thoughts on how to implement common vernacular and communicate program goals at your school.

    Many athletic departments are asked to give reports to its school board or board of education. In the St. Anthony – New Brighton School District, we are asked to present annually. We have worked very hard to produce data-rich information for our school board. For example, our report details participant and program demographics such as free or reduced lunch, ethnicity, and gender. This data analysis also gives a detailed look at how our students’ grades and attendance rates are tied to greater participation in sports and activities. We spend 40-plus hours preparing these statistics for our school board. However, in our recent hour-long annual report we spent about 10 minutes talking about these numbers! Much to my delight, the focus was on our "why." We spent 50 minutes of our hour-long presentation talking about our program’s purpose—exactly what we want our conversations to focus on.

    The organization of our presentation allowed for this conversation to happen. Our board is a very engaged group who reviews the information they receive closely. We provided our data analysis to the board in advance of the meeting so they have the opportunity to preview this information—this allowed us to focus on other purpose-based topics in our presentation. Our athletics and activities report had three agenda items: 1.) a few quick updates on hot topics, 2.) our department’s purpose, and 3.). the annual data and participation report. After giving introductory remarks and quick updates, I invited three coaches to join in our presentation to the school board. The following bullet points walk through a process you could use to share and promote common language along with your definition of success. This format is simple and easy to recreate—any school could do something like this to further alignment among the policymakers in your district.

  • To frame your presentation, identify three of your core values you would like to use as your guide. For me, I focused on areas that connect to my goals as an athletic director: service to others, measurements of success beyond the scoreboard, and developing well-rounded character within our student-athletes.
  • I then enlisted three of our coaches who have a purpose statement that relates to each of these areas. Each coach spoke for 5 to 7 minutes and gave stories about the positive impact their program is making in the lives of our student-athletes.
  • After my introductory remarks, our first coach spoke about the service projects her teams have led—giving back to the community. She then discussed her purpose as a coach and how we embrace a serving attitude rather than be-served mindset.
  • Next, our second coach talked about how her program’s definition of success is based on so much more than a scoreboard. They focus on improvement, having fun, and becoming better people—not just better athletes. She then read her transformational purpose statement to the board. Her purpose statement centers on relationships, being a good teammate, and how in 20 years we will know how successful we were!
  • Our final coach led a discussion about our department’s emphasis on teaching the Ys and life lessons, not just Xs and Os. He talked about the impact of our weekly character education lessons, teaching not just about performance character, but also moral character. After giving powerful examples to our school board and how his team has been positively influenced by this approach, he then provided his purpose statement about playing and living a life with integrity.

    It was then my turn. I spoke about our department’s book club subject, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, and gave the board my why: I serve to use the power of high school athletics and activities to make the world a better place. The resulting comments, questions, and dialogue with our school board were grounded by this conversation. It was the best school board meeting I have ever been a part of!

    This is a success story from my school district that I am confident could be easily repeated in yours. If anyone has any questions about how to prepare a similar presentation with your school board, please do not hesitate to contact me—I would be more than happy to help in any way I can.

    Troy Urdahl, St. Anthony Village Athletic Administrator


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