By STUART GROSKREUTZ – Stillwater Gazette
Thanks to exceptional spring season, Stillwater Area High School vaulted up to sixth place in the final Minnesota State High School League Class AAA Challenge Cup standings for the 2011-12 school year.
Stillwater, which finished outside the top five for just the second time in the past seven years, totaled 423 points – 202 of which were scored in the spring, compared to 103 points in the fall and 118 points during the winter season. For a recap of Stillwater’s successful spring campaign, check out pages 10-11.
Eden Prairie scored 766.5 points to secure its fifth Challenge Cup title and sixth in the past seven years. Lakeville in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and Wayzata in 2006-07 are the only other large-division schools to win the Challenge Cup in the nine-year history of the competition, which was created to recognize MSHSL schools for their success in postseason tournaments in athletics and fine arts activities.
Minnetonka followed the Eagles in second place with 578.5 points while Edina (540), Eastview (539) and Wayzata (511.5) completed the top five.
The Ponies scored 26 fewer points a year ago while placing fifth in the standings. Stillwater has placed between fourth and seventh each of the past seven years.
Stillwater’s top points producer this year was the state champion boys’ cross country team with 64 points, although the state runner-up girls’ golf and state champion softball teams were not far behind with 62 and 60 points. Boys alpine skiing and girls’ Nordic skiing – boosted by individual state champion Nora Gilbertson – each scored 40 points.
Girls swimming and diving resulted in 39 points for the Ponies while boys track and field chipped in with 32. Girls lacrosse racked up 30 points for its fourth-place finish in the state tournament. Additional points were accumulated in boys swimming and diving (19), girls track and field (18), gymnastics (10) and wrestling (9).
The Ponies were the top finisher among Suburban East Conference schools for the fifth year in a row and sixth time in the past seven years.
Roseville was the next highest finisher among SEC schools in ninth place with 370.6 points, followed by Mounds View in 18th at 233.6.
Challenge Cup results
Top 10, SEC schools
1. Eden Prairie 766.5; 2. Minnetonka 578.5; 3. Edina 540; 4. Eastview 539.8; 5. Wayzata 511.5; 6. Stillwater 423; 7. Apple Valley 394.8; 8. Lakeville North 373.8; 9. Roseville 370.6; 10. Hopkins 358; 18. Mounds View 233.6; 25. Forest Lake 185; 36. East Ridge 151; 41. Park 125; 44. Hastings 117.8; 46. Woodbury 116; 47. White Bear Lake 110; 53. Cretin-Derham Hall 98.
Boys cross country64
Boys alpine skiing40
Girls Nordic skiing40
Boys track and field32
Girls track and field18
Stillwater Challenge Cup results
Challenge Cup winners