IMAC Championship

On a slippery course, you earned three all conference awards and an honorable mention award.

Our middle school runners started things off for us. Eddie finished 4th in the boys race to earn a t-shirt and run his best time on this course. Joey finished just ahead of Henry S., who ran his best time on this course. Boyd finished with a sprint. Teagan was 4th among the girls, earning a t-shirt.

Next up were our varsity boys. Henry led the way, while being cautious on his healing hamstring. He ran with care, but finished 4th to earn all conference honors. Isak finished just a few seconds later in 5th place to also earn all conference honors. Peter ran well on this soggy course, only a few seconds from his best time on the course, earning honorable mention. Cullen had a Murphy’s Law kind of race, as all of the spikes came out of his shoes, leaving him with little traction. This made his knees sore as well. Cullen did hang in there to finish the race. Despite the muddy turf, Evan improved his personal best by a few more seconds. Henry G. and Noah finished as our 6th and 7th runners today. Our boys team finished in 2nd place in the IMAC.

Our varsity girls were the finale this afternoon. Margo battled the leader for much of the race, finishing 3rd and earning all conference honors. Izzy, racing after playing in the girls soccer section game, ran well to finish in 19th place. Cara ran her best time on this course. Skylar ran one of her best times of the season. Izzy G. finished just ahead of Emily, who ran her first race of the season. Mari improved her best time on this course by well over a minute. Salma finished with a sprint to hold her place.

While not everything worked according to plan, you did manage to race without injury, which is an achievement on this kind of soggy, slippery course. Next up will be our section meet in two weeks to determine who will advance to the state meet. It’s taper time!

Results for all races are at Gopher State Events.


The Athletic Brain

mpa varsity soccer playerHow School Sports Lift The Mind, Build Skills And Improve Mental Health

Health trends in the U.S. have turned particularly grim in recent years. According to the America’s Health Rankings 2018 Annual Report, obesity continues to rise and is a direct link to heart disease and cancer, which are contributing to the growth in premature death rates. Suicide has increased 16 percent since 2012, and more Americans are reporting poor mental health for 14 or more days in a month. The connection between physical and mental health is more evident than ever—and, supports a compelling case for encouraging students to incorporate athletics with academics throughout their school career.

Sports as a Catalyst For Mental, Physical Development

Research published in the “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” outlines how school sports improve overall health and well being, highlighting that “sport provides an equilibrium between group demands and individual demands, between aggressive behaviors and self-control. It fosters a sense of belonging to a group, and teaches coping with both victory and defeat.” Read More

MPA Swimming Success At The Tri-County Meet

MPA swim team smiling in the poolThe MPA swim team had a fantastic meet this week! The Panthers won seven of the 11 total events at the Tri-County Meet.

Highlights include eighth grader Grace O. taking first in the 100 backstroke race, ninth grader Lola Del Río Chavez winning the 500 free, junior Annie Kramer bringing home the win with the medley relay, and ninth grader Annabelle Vale winning the 50 free! Let’s go, Panthers!

Osseo Invite

Despite missing our top boy runner, our boys team managed to place 5th, and our runners earned two medals and a ribbon and earned ten personal best times!

Our girls JV got things started this afternoon. Amy, in her first 5000 meter race, ran well to lead our JV girls. Amanda, also running her first 5000 meter race, struggled a bit but finished her race. Salma, suffering from some shin splints, finished things up for our JV girls.

Our girls varsity was next up. Katie, still feeling a quad injury courtesy of the evil mud at Milaca, had to drop out after just a few minutes. Margo carried on, moving up the second half of the race, and finishing with a flourish to earn 3rd place by a tenth of a second, earning a medal for her efforts. Cara was our second runner across, running her second best 5000 meter race. Izzy Q., returning from her stress reaction, ran with a smile on her face and enjoyed being out there again. Skylar and Izzy G. ran side by side the entire race, finishing a few tenths of a second apart. Mari was not far behind to wrap things up for our varsity girls.

Our varsity boys were next, definitely missing Henry S., still nursing a sore hamstring, suffered in the mud of Milaca. In his absence, Isak led our boys, running a strong second half to move up to 3rd place, earning a medal, running a personal best time, and moving up to 12th place all time. Cullen ran well, just a few seconds from his personal best time. Peter was also just a few seconds from his best time. Evan improved on his best time by ten seconds. Ben, called on to run varsity, improved his best time by 33 seconds, finishing just a few seconds behind Evan. Liam, in his first varsity effort, improved his time from last week by well over a minute! Eddie, running as our replacement Snider, improved his personal best time. The boys team earned 5th place, a strong showing among a field consisting mostly of much larger schools.

Next up were our JV boys. Henry G. hurt his foot during the race and wisely stopped. But Noah carried on and improved his personal best time by almost 40 seconds! our middle school group wrapped up the day for us. Zain led our middle school boys, with Henry Schw. and Joey close behind. Eilam improved his best 2500 meter time by almost 40 seconds! Boyd wrapped things up for the boys. Teagan led our girls, finishing in 6th place and earning a ribbon. Abigail kicked hard to a strong finish.

Results are available for the Girls JV, Girls Varsity, Boys Varsity, Boys JV, and Middle School.


Happy Homecoming, Panthers!

fans line up for high fives at homecomingHomecoming 2019 is here! Did you see the Homecoming chalk art at the north and south entrances on Monday? Thank you to the Upper School Student Council for kicking off the week of festivities!

We have been dreaming, playing, and sharing all week. We hope you can come celebrate with us at the All-School Pep Rally on Friday at 2:20 PM in the Lansing Center.

Please also join us for a day of fun on Saturday! It will be a perfect fall day for catching up with friends, watching a game or match, grabbing a bite to eat, and warming your hands by the fire. Read More

Milaca Megameet

It was an electrifying Milaca Megameet, with thunderstorms delaying the start by over an hour. Once races resumed, you overcame treacherous conditions to complete your races, earning two individual trophies and two ribbons.

With the middle school races cancelled, our middle school boys joined the 9th grade boys and ran the 5000 meter distance, most of them for the first time! That race included over 900 boys! Ben led our large contingent, running only a few seconds from his personal best. He must have been wearing swim fins! Liam running his first 5000 meter race, was only a couple minutes behind Ben. Eddie splashed in just a few seconds later. Henry G. was just a couple minutes behind Eddie. He was our only 9th grader in the 9th grade boys race. Joey not only ran his first 5000 meter cross country race, he was one of just a few 6th graders taking on 900 older boys! But he finished strongly to run a good first time! Henry Schw. was not far behind Joey. Zain, running his first 5000 meter time, finished well. And Eilam, running his first 5000 meter race, wrapped things up for our boys.

Our 9th grade girls contingent was just our two middle school girl runners, Teagan and Abigail. Like Joey, Teagan was one of just a few 6th graders running against about 600 older girls. She ran very well, finishing just a few seconds ahead of Abigail, also running her first 5000 meter cross country race.

Noah and Salma were our only 10th graders racing. Salma was expecting a teammate to join her, but that teammate overslept and missed all the excitement! Both Noah and Salma ran well in the muddy conditions. Hoah took a fall, but still got the job done.

Our varsity boys faced a lot of adversity in their race. Not only was the course getting muddier and muddier, but every one of them slipped or fell during the race. Henry led our boys in 6th place, finishing on a tightening hamstring thanks to slipping on a downhill part of the course. He did earn a trophy for his painful efforts. Isak ran his best time on this course (!?) and earned a ribbon for his muddy journey. Cullen was next, and not that far off his course best, despite a sprained ankle acquired during his race. Peter was only seconds behind Cullen. Evan wrapped things up for us, running well despite still feeling the effects of the virus that’s been making the rounds.

Our varsity girls, well decorated with water proof glitter and painted arms and faces, ran with a lot of determination. They were committed to not falling. And despite slipping and sliding a lot, they all managed to stay on their feet for the entire race. We will count that as a big win!

This was a challenging day. You handled the thuderstorm delay well, getting to our bus to stay safe. And you adapted to the new schedule well. Special kudos to our middle school runners, who were willing to run a longer race against older competition. We had a few injuries, which should be healing soon, fortunately.

And, as challenging as this was, it could have been worse. Shortly after we left, there was a tornado warning just north of Milaca. I don’t know about you, but waiting out a tornado warning on a school bus is not something I would look forward to.

Next up will be the Osseo Invite. This will be our last race before we begin our championship races, IMAC and Section and State!

Results are available at Gopher State Events.


Private School Invite

On a blustery day that felt like late October, you raced to ten personal best times, and eight top ten finishes!

Our large middle school contingent led things off. That is, after Peter retrieved them from their walk in the woods that almost caused them to miss their race! Liam finished in 4th place in his first cross country race. Leo finished in 9th place in his first cross country race. Eddie was just a few seconds behind him in 10th place. Zain, Henry, and Joey finished close together. Boyd, running his first cross country race, and Eilam, running more than a minute faster than last year, wrapped things up for our middle school boys. Teagan finished in 5th place among the middle school girls.

Our varsity girls were next. They were on time for their race. And very sparkly. The pixie dust apparently worked its magic, as our varsity girls earned two top ten finishes and three personal best times! Margo and Katie ran together the entire race, putting on a strong last 800 meters to finish 2nd and 3rd. Cara ran a personal best by about a minute to finish 29th. Skylar and Izzy ran together most of the race, finishing just a second apart. Izzy was well under her best time on this course. Mari, running her first varsity race, showed she belonged by improving her personal best time by almost two minutes!

Our varsity boys also got the pixie dust treatment, courtesy of Skylar and Izzy. And it seemed to do some good. Henry chased the 6th ranked runner in the state for much of the race, closing in the last 800 meters, but getting edged for 3rd place by inches. He ran his second best ever time, and over a minute faster than last year. Isak finished in 6th place with a personal best by almost a minute and moved into 14th place all time. Cullen improved his personal best time to earn 19th place. Peter eclipsed his personal best by a second. Evan shaved a few seconds off his personal best time. And Ben, running his first varsity race, improved his personal best time by over 20 seconds. These fine performances earned our boys team 2nd place to 5th ranked Nova Classical.

Wrapping things up for us were our boys junior varsity runners. Henry G. ran within a few seconds of his personal best. Noah edged his personal best by a second with a strong finish.

Earning this many personal best times on a muddy course that is not fast under the best of conditions is impressive. But beyond that, you competed very well. I saw many of you make strong moves in the last part of the race to separate from competitors and hold your places. This will only help as we run more important races later in our season.

Next up, after some hard training next week, is the Milaca Megameet, the largest high school cross country meet in the nation.

Results are available for Boys Middle School, Girls Middle School, Girls Varsity, Boys Varsity, and Boys Junior Varsity.


Ron Kretsch Invite

On a day that only distance runners and mosquitoes would love, you earned 12 personal best times and earned 6 t-shirts for finishing in the top ten of your grade level race!

Our middle school boys started us off on the right spiked foot. Ben ran his second mile faster than his first to move up to 8th place, earning a substantial personal best and a t-shirt. Eddie also moved up the second half of his race, finishing 26th. Liam, in his first cross country race, started a little too fast, but hung on for 30th place. Eilam ran well to earn 92nd place. He has improved a lot since he began cross country just over a year ago.

Our middle school girls, while fewer in number, ran well. Teagan earned 19th place, running as a 6th grader among mostly 7th and 8th graders. Abigail, running in her first cross country race, finished in 50th place and said it was fun. That’s the kind of attitude we like!

Henry G. was our only 9th grade boy. He ran very close to his personal best time to finish in 64th place. Margo was our only 9th grade girl. She ran side by side with another girl for most of the race before unleashing a powerful kick that left her competitor stumbling to the finish. She missed her personal best by a few seconds but earned a t-shirt for her win.

Our 10th grade boys began a long streak of personal records. Cullen started a little quick and had some trouble breathing the second half of the race, but managed to hang on for 6th place, earning a personal best time and a t-shirt. Evan improved his personal best by 49 seconds to finish 22nd. Noah improved his personal best time by a whopping 1 minute and 49 seconds!

Salma continued the parade of personal bests, improving her best 2 mile time by 17 seconds. She looked strong and said it felt good. Peter finished in 15th as our only junior boy, earning a personal best by 31 seconds.

Our 11th grade girls raised the bar a bit, finishing 3rd and 4th in their race. Katie improved her personal best by 27 seconds while staying pretty close to the leaders for much of the race. Izzy, in the first of two competitions today (she is playing soccer later this afternoon) improved her personal best by 4 seconds. Both girls earned t-shirts for their efforts.

Henry S. was our sole senior boy. Despite sore legs from all his recent hard work, he ran well to finish 5th and earn a personal best by 21 seconds. He earned our final t-shirt of the day.

Our senior girls wrapped things up for us. Skylar ran side by side with Izzy during most of the race before abandoning Izzy with her finishing kick. Not bad for someone who is running a bit low on iron. Well, more than a bit. Izzy did manage to improve her personal best by 32 seconds. Mari finished in 31st place while improving her personal best by 1 minute and 21 seconds!

This was just your first race, competing against many runners who were running their third race. But you were sharp, ran mostly evenly paced miles, and showed some competitive skills to win your piece of the race or win the race. This bodes well for the remainder of your season.

Next up, after picture day (smile!) is the Private School Invite. Maybe Goldilocks will determine the weather and it will be just right for a change.

Results are available at Gopher State Events.


Going The Extra Mile

middle school track and field day hurdlersby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Throughout middle and upper school, I was usually the tallest kid in the room. However, my coordination never seemed to be in sync with my height. Nevertheless, I was encouraged to play the center position on the basketball team and defensive end on the football team. There were many times I was discouraged, but I learned to push myself. In my junior and senior years, I saw very little playing time in basketball, but earned my place on the team in practices by playing center in scrimmages, going up against Pete. I was 6’3” and 160 pounds. Pete was 6’5’’ and 230 pounds. Over the course of two years, I sustained a broken leg, several sprained ankles, black eyes, bruised ribs, and other injuries … all thanks to my friend, Pete.

A great deal of the success I’ve had to date can be credited to lessons I learned from those experiences. For example, whether it was pushing myself to finish my doctorate, dealing with difficult problems at work, overcoming personal challenges, or running a 10K, I am stronger because of the endurance I have learned. While some may define endurance as suffering, I view it in a positive light—an indication of growth and accomplishment. Read More

Congratulations To Coach Biever!

boys state champion tennis teamCongratulations to MPA Boys Tennis Coach Bryan Biever! Coach Biever has been voted as the Class A Coach of the Year! The award will be given at a banquet in October.

Last spring, the MPA Boys Tennis Team won the State Championship and Parker Law ’19 finished as the 2019 MSHSL State Class A Singles Champion.

The MPA boys tennis program provides an opportunity for Panthers to learn a life-long sport, represent their school and community, and expand essential character skills through the game of tennis. MPA coaches strive to develop tennis players of all ability levels, improving their tennis skills and knowledge. An honor well deserved, Coach!