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Willmar's Holtz, Rudie win regional Triple ‘A’ awards

Willmar’s Triple ‘A’ “identical twins” Josh Holtz, left, and Tara Rudie are in the same three sports (cross country, basketball, track), each plays percussion in band and are both in choir and are, of course, top students in the senior class. They even attend the same church (First Covenant in Willmar). Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Willmar High School’s Tara Rudie has been named the girls Region 8AA champion and will now be considered for the Triple ‘A’ state award in Class AA. School administrators believe her to be the first Willmar nominee ever to win the region competition.

The Triple ‘A’ — Academics, Arts, and Athletics — award began in 1988 with the goal of elevating academic standards and raising awareness of League-sponsored activities and their value.

Josh Holtz was Willmar’s boy nominee. Region 8AA includes 14 schools who may nominate both a senior boy and girl. Triple ‘A’ highlights students who have excelled in the classroom, in athletic competition and in fine arts during their high-school careers.

Honorees are selected through a multi-level process that involves member schools, the Minnesota State High School League’s administrative regions and a selection committee of educators, business leaders and members of the fine arts and athletic communities.

The eight region winners for both Class AA and A, boys and girls, will be honored at a banquet at Craguns at Brainerd on March 2, where the State winners will be announced. There will be an on-court Recognition Ceremony during the boys State Basketball Tournament in mid-March.

The 2013 Class AA selections were both from Central Lakes Conference schools — St. Cloud Apollo and Alexandria.


3.893 GPA, AP Courses

Band: Superior ratings 3 times solo ensemble (percussion)

Choir: superior rating as a junior, CLC All-Conference, All-State senior year

Athletics: Cross country (4 letters), basketball (2), track & field (4): All-CLC, All-State academic

Outside activities: On Call music ministry, mission trips to Columbia, Alaska (upcoming); Operation Christmas Child, ARC Dance, Humane Society, Goodwill, New 2 You

Parents: Dan and Laurie Holtz

Future plans: Undecided, possibly Ridgewater College


4.038 GPA, AP Courses

Band: Superior rating 3 times solo ensemble (percussion), CLC Honor Band


Athletics: Cross country (5 letters, 3-time MVP, captain, All-CLC, 2 state meets, All-State Academic), basketball (2), track & field (5, All-CLC Honorable Mention, state meet participant)

Student Council: Team Leader Fellowship of Christian Athletes, DARE Role Model

Outside activities: Salvation Army Bellringer, ARC Dance, Wrapped in Love Blankets, Willmar Distinguished Young Woman runner-up

Parents: Dave and Carla Rudie

Future plans: Bethel University or Concordia College, elementary education