Congratulations to this year’s Prep Elites, who were nominated by their schools for our annual feature. It’s always difficult to decide among a worthy group of local teens, who strive in their own ways to make it to “the top.” Here are this year's Prep Elites: Maria Paula Cadena Amortegui, Alex Edstrom, Monica Rampetsreiter
Maple Grove Senior High
Extra-curriculars: Soccer; wrestling (Four-time all-conference, three-time state entrant, two-time section champion, Redwood River Riot champion, two-time Rumble on the Red place winner, team captain, 150 career wins (third most in school history))
MPG: What do you wish you could have told your freshman self?
GP: I wish I would have told myself to not be so self-conscious around my peers. I’ve come to realize that most people don’t care about the thing you’re stressing about. Put those thoughts to the side, and enjoy your time in high school.
MPG: What is the most important way in which you gave back to your high school or community?
GP: I’ve done a lot of volunteer work to try and give back to the community, but I think the most important way I’ve given back is being a captain of the wrestling team. Through that position, I feel like I’ve been able to motivate and encourage kids to learn and embrace the sport and not to quit no matter how hard it gets. Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.
MPG: What did you learn from that experience?
GP: I’ve gained a lot of humility from that role. It’s changed me from a kid, who thought his experience is what mattered most, to someone who values helping others and making their experience just as good or better than my own.
MPG: What are your post high school plans?
GP: My plan is to attend a four-year university.
MPG: Give us three words to describe yourself.
GP: Hard-working, friendly and imaginative
“Gavin’s commitment to excellence carries over to all areas of his life leading to excelling on the mat, in the classroom and as a person. His leadership makes others around him better. He’s a role model for younger athletes throughout the high school and youth programs. Gavin is an outstanding wrestler and teammate, whose presence has been a positive for the entire program.” —Troy Seubert, wrestling coach