As fall athletics reaches the mid-season point and heads towards section competition in October, here's a recap of our Spartans' exceptional fall season so far--go Spartans!
Girls' Cross Country
In his first year, Head Cross Country Coach Gary Perry reports great performances and multiple personal bests achieved across the board so far this sesaon. Highlights on the season include great runs at the Steve Hoag Invitational from Violet Benson '24 and Becca Richman '23 as well as Taylor Barkwell's '25 14th place finish at the same meet. Most recently, the team competed in the Roy Griak Invitational, fairing well against a strong field; Taylor Barkwell ran exceptionally well and finished 21st overall. In 5K runs this season, personal bests include Carys Hardy '24 (22:20), Bridget Keel '24 (25:55), Maren Overgaard '26 (21:17), and Siri Pattison '24 (23:47). Perry says the team has a shot at winning the IMAC and finishing 2nd at Region 3AA meet, which would qualify the team for the State meet.
Boys' Cross Country
On the boys' side, Coach Gary Perry has seen consistent improvement in each race this season, including nine personal bests so far: Henry Burkhardt '22 (19:43), Elliot Cooper '25 (28:27), Sandro Fusco '24 (22:14), Ian Grewe '24 (21:27), Lucas Grewe '24 (22:19), Calvin He '23 (26:10), Dashiel Horstman '24 (28:23), Finn Miller-Fimpel '25 (20:24), and Justin Troth '22 (19:57). At the Roy Griak Invitational on September 24th at the University of Minnesota, Henry Burkhardt was the top finisher with a 19:52 5K. He was followed up by Naci Konar-Steenberg '22 who ran a 20:31 5K and edged teammate Finn Miller-Fimpel 20:31 by .8 seconds. Justin Troth also performed well with a 20:36 5K.
The SMB Wolfpack is having another solid season this 2021 campaign: the team is currently 3-1 and is ranked 7th in Class 4A. The team's most recent victory came on September 18th against DeLaSalle; the Wolfpack dominated in every facet of the game and won 43-7. Spartan athletes have performed exceptionally well on the cooperative team with Blake and Minnehaha: captain and quarterback Charlie Johnson '22 is the team's leader and backbone; Joey Stoplestad '23 is tied for 14th in the state in tackles and was recently nominated for the Star Tribune’s Defensive Player of the Week; and Judah Thomas '22 is 6th in the state in total interceptions on the year.
With a 6-2-1 record so far this season, Head Coach Max Lipset is excited about the team's potential for the remainder of the year. The boys' most recent victory was a nailbiter 2-1 victory against section rival St. Paul Humboldt on September 25. Coach Lipset will continue to rely on veteran players Cooper Bollinger Danielson '23 and Zekiah Juliusson '22 to be leaders on and off the field. Bollinger Danielson leads the Spartans in total assists with nine, and goals on the year with seven; Juliusson is right behind him with six assists and five goals on the year.
Girls’ Soccer is having a championship season under first-year Head Coach Paul Armstrong. The team is currently 9-1-1 and was crowned the IMAC Conference Champion after a 3-1 double-overtime victory over Minnehaha Academy on September 28. Captain and forward, Mia Hofmann '22 leads the team in goals on the year, and Sawyer Bollinger Danielson '25 and captain Naomi Straub '22 lead the team in assists. Coach Armstrong also gives credit to his stingy defensive backline, which has held opponents to six total goes in eleven games. With four games left until section play begins, the Spartans are focused on "continuous improvement, remaining healthy, and playing for one another. The wins will take care of themselves if they do that," says Armstrong. The team's success was profiled in the Highland Villager in the September 29 issue: "SPA Kicks Into High Gear In Girls' Soccer."
Girls’ Swimming and Diving (Co-Op)
Girls' Swim and Dive has competed in three invitational meets around the metro area so far this season and has put in strong performances at each one, according to Head Coach Stephen Satnik. Diver Katherine Welsh '22 has had an exceptional year so far, going undefeated in every one-meter event in which she has competed. Additionally, Coach Satnik has relied on Divya Bhargava '22 and Linnea Cooley '23 for solid swims in their respective events, backstroke and sprinting freestyle.
Girls’ Tennis has found a good rhythm, according to Head Coach Jono Martin. The team has played well in all team and individual competitions this season against challenging opponents. Most recently, the team won 4-2 over Southwest on September 27th. The team has relied heavily on veteran players and captains Maggie Fields '22 and Elizabeth Trevathan '22 to lead the relatively young team. The team now turns their focus to section competition which begins the week of October.
Spartan Volleyball has spent the season working on their skills individually and collectively as a team. A highlight of the first half of their season came on September 14 with a 3-0 sweep over IMAC rival Blake. The girls have played quality opponents and improved in every match that they have competed in. Team captains Riley Erben '23, Solvej Eversoll '23, and Nina Starchook '22 lead a relatively young team that will continue to grow and improve.
Club Sports: Sailing
The SPA sailing club team came in fourth in the Great Oaks MISSA regional qualifier regatta (Midwest) in Pontiac, MI over the weekend of September 24-25. It was two long days of sailing (24 races in total) for club members Wyatt Tait '23 and Lorenzo Good '25. With their fourth place finish, the team secured a berth in the Great Oaks Regatta, a national-level regatta which will be held in New Orleans in late November.