For the seventh time in 12 years, The Blake School of Minneapolis 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 2014-2015 Challenge Cup competition. Wayzata and Minneota are also Challenge Cup winners.
Now in its 12th and final year, the Challenge Cup is a state-wide, 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. The program is being discontinued and the League and Wells Fargo instead will focus on programs that recognize students for community service and leadership.
With 493 points, seven-time Challenge Cup winner The Blake School first won the Cup in 2005 under the two-class system. The Bears won again in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Blake now holds the distinction of having the most overall Cup wins with seven. Eden Prairie follows with six.
During the 2014-15 school year, The Blake School won state championships in boys’ tennis and boys’ golf. They also had individual champions in debate (Policy), boys’ golf, boys’ swimming and diving (200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle relay, 100-yard breaststroke), girls’ swimming and diving (1-meter diving), boys’ tennis (doubles and singles), and girls’ tennis (doubles). Other points came from participants in girls’ and boys’ track and field, girls’ swimming and diving, girls’ and boys’ lacrosse, girls’ golf, girls’ and boys’ Alpine skiing, and girls’ hockey.
Breck School of Golden Valley (367 points), St. Cloud Cathedral (246 points), Totino-Grace of Fridley (241 points), and Rochester Lourdes (226 points) are the remaining top five Class AA schools.
Repeat Challenge Cup winner Wayzata participated in 19 state tournaments and racked up 766 points to win the Class AAA award. The Trojans won championships for the second consecutive year in both girls’ and boys’ cross country running. The girls’ Nordic ski and boys’ golf teams brought home state titles for those events. Wayzata also had first-place finishers in girls’ swimming and diving (200-yard individual medley, 200-medley relay), girls’ track and field (800-meter run), and boys’ cross country. Other points came from the school’s adapted sports teams, its dance team, and the girls’ gymnastics, boys’ Nordic ski racing, boys’ soccer, girls’ golf, and girls’ lacrosse teams. Members of the debate and speech teams also contributed to the school’s overall success.
The remaining top five Class AAA schools were Edina (591 points), Eden Prairie (568 points), Lakeville North (475 points), and Eastview of Apple Valley (414 points).
The Class A Cup will move 25 miles from Dawson-Boyd High School to Minneota High School. Each school has won the Cup twice - Dawson-Boyd in 2014 and 2012 - and Minneota in 2011 when the competition was expanded to three classes.
This past school year, Minneota led the Class A Cup competition with 252 points. To earn those points, the Vikings won state titles in football and wrestling. They also finished third in girls’ basketball and girls’ golf. Other points came from runners in cross country and track and field. Several wrestlers also participated in the Class A state tournament.
Behind Minneota, Legacy Christian Academy of Andover (101 points), Maranatha Christian Academy of Brooklyn Park (101 points), Dawson-Boyd (100 points) and Ada-Borup (98 points) rounded out the top five.
“The Challenge Cup represents excellence in not only athletics but the fine arts. The award is a true measurement of the overall effort a school puts forth in their fine arts and sports activities,” says Joe Ravens, Wells Fargo regional president for Minnesota. “This award is also a great reminder that athletics and fine arts can coexist in schools.”
The Challenge Cup champions will be recognized at ceremonies early this fall. The three schools will be presented with the crystal Challenge Cup.
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, 2012 2013, and 2014; Wayzata — 2007, 2013, and 2014; Perham — 2008; Breck School — 2010 and 2011; Minneota — 2011; Dawson-Boyd — 2012 and 2014; and Bethlehem Academy of Faribault — 2013.
For a complete list of all the schools that earned Challenge Cup points for the 2014-15 school year, visit the League website—www.MSHSL.org—and click on the Recognition tab in the gold bar at the top.