Sun names Lake Minnetonka Sports Achievers for 2012
The Lake Minnetonka Area saw some amazing accomplishments from its athletes in 2012.
Each year the Sun-Sailor Sports staff names the Top 20 Sports Achievers for the year. This year’s list includes many high school standouts, plus a PGA golfer, an NHL hockey player and a Minnetonka football lineman who recently competed in the Rose Bowl.
Following are our choices for 2012.
Many high school football players in the Midwest dream of playing in the Rose Bowl.
Minnetonka High graduate Beau Allen had an opportunity to live the dream Jan. 1 when his Wisconsin Badgers played Stanford in Pasadena, Calif.
Allen, a 6-foot-3, 335-pound junior, starts at nose tackle for Wisconsin.
The Minnetonka High girls track star had a big state meet in 2012.
She took fourth place in the Class AA 100-meter dash and added a fifth place in the 200-meter dash.
“Carolina broke the school record in the 100 during prelims,” said Minnetonka head coach Jane Reimer-Morgan. “And then she broke it again in the finals.”
Few swimmers in Minnetonka High history have matched Busch’s career accomplishments.
As a junior last year, he won the 100-yard backstroke in 50.44 seconds. He added a second place in the 100-yard freestyle in 46.12.
Minnetonka tied Maple Grove for second place behind state Class AA team champion Eden Prairie.
The former state high school golf champion from Minnetonka earned his PGA Tour card in 2012.
During PGA qualifying, Constable shot four straight rounds of scores in the 60s.
One of Constable’s highlights of 2012 was a victory at the Terra Cotta Invitational in Naples, Fla.
The four-year varsity goalie for the Minnetonka High girls soccer team finished her career with an All-State award from the Minnesota Girls Soccer Coaches’ Association.
Crist led the Skippers to an undefeated (3-0-5) season in the Lake Conference.
She is also a member of the Minnetonka girls track and field team.
Crowell started every game during her four-year soccer career at Minnetonka High.
The midfielder was an All-Lake Conference selection four years in a row and was named All-State by the Minnesota Girls Soccer Coaches’ Association in her junior and senior seasons.
Crowell will continue her soccer career at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. next season.
The high jump was Crum’s specialty for the Minnetonka High boys track and field team.
At the state Class AA meet, he finished third with a best height of 6 feet, 7 inches. Crum’s personal record was 6-8.
His performance during the season helped Minnetonka win the True Team state championship.
Gardiner, a former Minnetonka High and University of Wisconsin hockey player, had 30 points on 7 goals and 23 assists for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
With the NHL players out on strike this season, Gardiner’s second season in the NHL has been put on hold.
The multi-talented Minnetonka High girls basketball point guard is in her fifth season as a varsity starter.
Hedstrom earned her third consecutive All-Lake Conference award during the 2011-12 season. She averaged 16 points and 6.5 assists per game for coach Leah Dasovich.
The Minnetonka Millers won the state Class A amateur baseball title with Melek pitching brilliantly.
The ace right-hander, who graduated from Hopkins High, allowed no runs and only three hits in 13 innings at the state tourney and shared MVP honors with his teammate, Joe Shallenberger.
Melek pitched a no-hitter in the tournament opener to beat the St. Paul River Bandits 1-0.
“You can’t pitch much better than Nate did in this tournament,” said Miller manager Kevin Hoy.
Defense was one reason the Minnetonka High girls hockey team won its second consecutive state Class AA title in 2012.
Morin, an All-State defenseman, was on the key players.
“In my opinion, Sidney is the best defenseman in the state,” said Minnetonka head coach Eric Johnson. “She runs the team like an NFL quarterback. She is super fast and plays good position defense.”
Minnetonka High’s girls Alpine skiing team finished second at the state meet behind Hermantown.
Olejnik was Minnetonka’s leader during the state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
Her combined time for two runs at was 1:18.17.
Peck, a youth baseball volunteer in the Lake Minnetonka Area for almost 50 years, was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame on Sept. 15, 2012.
Peck served as head coach of the Excelsior American Legion baseball team for 30 years and continues as general manager of that program.
He holds the state record for victories by a Minnesota American Legion coach and coached state championship teams in 1991 and 1998.
“We have a successful program because many people have been willing to put in the time,” said Peck. “No one does it alone. We have had a lot of talented players over the years. Some very good coaches in our youth program have trained them. It has been fun to be a part of this for all these years.”
The Minnetonka High girls hockey team’s leading scorer played on a state Class AA championship team for the second straight year.
Petersen is back this season, leading the Skippers in their pursuit of another championship.
“Amy does it all,” said Minnetonka head coach Eric Johnson. “She is one of the smartest players I’ve ever coached. She’s a great playmaker and cashes in on a lot of scoring chances.”
The Minnetonka High swimmer posted two Automatic All-American times during the state Class AA meet as the Skippers placed fourth in the team standings.
She swam 1:48.61 in the finals to win the 200-yard freestyle.
In the 500-yard freestyle finals, Schilling’s time of 4:48.96 was an all-time Minnesota high school record.
There’s a reason why they call Shallenberger “Mr. August.”
The shortstop for the Minnetonka Millers amateur baseball team does his best work at playoff time.
He was named co-MVP of the state Class A tournament in 2012 as the Millers won their eleventh state championship and posted a 45-5 season mark.
“On a team like this, you have a lot of players to choose from for MVP,” said Shallenberger. “Everyone was hitting.”
The Minnetonka High boys track and field star had an outstanding state meet in 2012.
After placing fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles, Stoudt earned third place in the 300 intermediate hurdles finals.
He won All-State honors in both of his events.
The Minnetonka High skier placed seventh in the state Alpine meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
His combined time of 1:11.54 for two runs helped Minnetonka capture the state team championship.
Struyk was also a two-year letterman as a goalkeeper for the Minnetonka High boys soccer squad.
Sutton helped the Blake School girls lacrosse team to a thrilling 11-10 victory over Eden Prairie in the state championship match.
Sutton scored two goals and added three assists in the title match as the Bears capped off a 16-2 season.
Blake has won four of the last six state girls lacrosse titles.
The Minnetonka High girls volleyball outside hitter paced the Skippers’ offense with 349 kills this season.
That performance earned her a berth on the All-Lake Conference team.
Weidner’s performance helped the Skippers finish the season with a 19-10 overall record in head coach Karl Katzenberger’s second year.