Eagles News · Apple Valley High School announces AAA and ExCEL Award nominees

AVHS is proud to announce its nominees for the MSHSL AAA and ExCEL awards for the 2019-20 school year. The AAA award is an award “to recognize and honor high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the fine arts.” The ExCEL award “is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in activities, who show leadership qualities, and who work voluntarily in their community.”

For 2019-20, AVHS’s nominees are:

Triple-A: Colton Bauer, Elianna Van Hulzen

ExCEL: Cade Sundgaard, Grace Lankas

Colton Bauer, son of Daniel and Karen Bauer, is AVHS’s male Triple-A nominee. Colton is a three-sport captain in Football, Hockey, and Lacrosse. Colton is a member of the AVHS band program where he plays Baritone Saxophone in the school’s top band and the Wind Ensemble. He maintains a perfect 4.0-grade point average while taking a difficult schedule of many AP and Honors courses. Colton earned Academic All-State recognition as a post-season football honor. As a varsity starter in all three sports, Colton has balanced the classroom and on field expectations at a high level.

Elianna Van Hulzen, daughter of Jonathan and Heidi Van Hulzen, is AVHS’s female Triple-A nominee. Elianna is a Women’s Soccer Captain and Women’s Lacrosse Athlete. Elianna has been a major contributor to both sports while also serving as team manager for the Apple Valley High School Varsity Boys Basketball Team. Elianna is also a standout member of the school’s choral program where she not only sings in the school’s top curricular choir, Valley Select Chorale, but sings in multiple select co-curricular ensembles and the school’s annual variety production “Broadway”. Elianna has a 3.98 GPA while taking a course load of CIS, AP, and Honors courses.


Grace Lankas, daughter of John and Karla Lankas, is AVHS’s female ExCEL award nominee. Grace is a three-sport athlete and three-sport Captain. She has participated in Women’s Tennis, Women’s Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse. As a Student-Athlete Grace was a key member of the Apple Valley High School Women’s Lacrosse State Championship Team in 2018. Grace’s has also participated in Band where she has participated in the Apple Valley High School Wind Ensemble and Pep Band. She also serves on the AVHS Student Council (3 years), member of National Honor Society and Captain of the Apple Valley Chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Lankas was also honored with a Certificate of Distinction for her work as a member of the E3 Stem Collaborative.

Cade Sundgaard, son of Anthony and Kristin Sundgaard, is AVHS’s male ExCEL award nominee. Cade is a three year year letter winner on the Apple Valley Wrestling Team while also excelling in Band as a First Chair Tenor Saxophone Player in schools Concert Band and Wind Ensemble. Cade is also a co-founding member of the AVHS Spanish Club and has spent over 100 hundred hours voluntering with youth in the Apple Valley Community. Cade also volunteers with Special Olympics on an annual basis.