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Austin Carlson (3) capped off his senior season by placing second in the 400-meter dash at the state Class A meet and earning MVP honors for the Park Rapids boys track and field team.

Hard work keyed Panthers’ success

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     Patrick Deegan couldn’t have asked for a better season from the Park Rapids boys track and field team.

     Having senior Austin Carlson finish second in the 400-meter dash and junior Isaac Overmyer place fourth in the 3,200 run at the state Class A meet capped off a very successful season.

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     The Panthers peaked at the end of the season by placing second at the Section 8A True Team and Mid-State Conference meets before winning the Subsection 8-29A title for the fourth year in a row. At the Section 8A meet, the Panthers finished third for the second year in a row while qualifying six individuals in six events for the state meet. Placing in two events gave the Panthers 16 points to tie for 19th place out of 77 teams. Scoring 16 points was the Panthers’ best finish since winning the state Class A title with 51 points in 1996.

     Also competing at the state meet were seniors Kurt Fritze and Bryce Brovitch and sophomores Remington Hagan and Tristan Breitweser. Fritze, Hagan, Brovitch and Carlson ran on the 4 x 400 relay team that placed 10th while Fritze, Hagan, Breitweser and Carlson ran on the 4 x 200 relay team that placed 16th. Overmyer placed 11th in the 1,600 run while Fritze placed 12th in the 300 hurdles.

     In addition to the state qualifiers, the Panthers received points during the season from seniors Spencer Adolphson, Caleb Gorder, Kalvin Hagan, Jared Kantonen, Nathanael Rairdon and Nate Rak; juniors Brandon Johnson and Zachary Tretbar; sophomores Jacob Engst, Damion Hanke, Marcus Hoyer, Isaac Kosel, Logan Noonan, Scott Petersen and Noah Schulz; freshmen Kaleb Carlson, Jack Christenson, Brandon Day, Adam Jacobi, Hunter Jewison, Per Jorgenson; and seventh grader Gabe Daily.

     “The season went about as well as it could,” said Deegan. “The kids worked hard and they had a lot of success. It was an enjoyable season.”

     Carlson won the 200 and 400 as the Panthers opened the season by placing eighth out of 18 teams with 29 points at the Paul Bunyan Invitational at Bemidji State University. Grand Forks Red River finished first with 136.50 points.

     Carlson (400) and Overmyer (3,200) took first in individual events while Fritze, Remington Hagan, Brovitch and Carlson took first in the 4 x 400 relay as the Panthers earned runner-up honors at the 12-team Little Amik Invitational at BSU with 69.50 points. Bemidji was first with 141 points.

     At the Perham Invitational, the Panthers finished fifth out of 10 teams with 47 points as Carlson won the 400 for Park Rapids’ only winning effort. Perham took first with 182 points.

     After a shorthanded team placed 21th at the 13-team Beaver Relays at BSU with 10 points (Bemidji took first with 174 points), the Panthers earned runner-up honors at the Park Rapids Invitational with 142 points to trail only Pequot Lakes’ 166 points in this 10-team meet. Carlson took first in the 200 and 400, Fritze took first in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, Jewison took first in the 800 and 1,600 and Overmyer won the 3,200. The 4 x 400 relay team of Fritze, Hagan, Brovitch and Carlson also took first.

     Another shorthanded team competed at the Walker May Day Invitational as the Panthers finished eighth out of 10 teams with 55.5 points. International Falls was first with 110.50 points.

     West Marshall claimed the Section 8A True Team title with 700 points as the Panthers finished second with 661.50 points in the 13-team field. Carlson won the 200, 400 and long jump and joined Fritze, Hagan and Breitweser on the winning 4 x 200 relay. Also taking first were Overmyer in the 3,200, Fritze in the 300 hurdles, and the 4 x 400 relay team of Hagan, Jorgenson, Brovitch and Fritze.

     The Panthers followed by claiming runner-up honors at the Mid-State Conference meet with 124.50 points to trail only Detroit Lakes’ 151 points in this six-team meet. Earning all-conference honors with winning efforts were Carlson in the 200 and long jump, Fritze in the 300 hurdles, and Fritze, Hagan, Brovitch and Carlson in the 4 x 400 relay. Finishing second to earn all-conference honorable mention honors were Carlson in the 400, Overmyer in the 1,600 and 3,200, Fritze in the 110 hurdles, Breitweser in the 100 and Brovitch in the high jump.

     Park Rapids dominated the nine teams at the subsection meet by winning eight events, finishing second in four events and placing third in seven events while scoring points in all 18 events. The Panthers tallied 204 points while Bagley/Fosston was a distant second with 116 points.

     Winning titles for the Panthers were Carlson in the 400 and long jump, Overmyer in the 1,600 and 3,200, Fritze in the 300 hurdles, Jorgenson in the 110 hurdles, Petersen in the discus, and Fritze, Hagan, Brovitch and Carlson in the 4 x 400 relay.

     Taking second were Brovitch in the high jump, Jewison in the 1,600, Jorgenson in the 300 hurdles and Fritze, Hagan, Breitweser and Carlson in the 4 x 200 relay while Brovitch (400), Jewison (800), Hagan (long jump), Kantonen (triple jump), Petersen (shot put), Adolphson (pole vault) and Gorder, Kosel, Rak and Breitweser (4 x 100 relay) finished third.

     Also scoring points at the subsection meet were Rairdon, Day, Jacobi and Christenson (4 x 800 relay); Kalvin Hagan (fourth) and Breitweser (fifth) in the 100; Remington Hagan in the 200 (sixth); Jacobi in the 3,200 (fifth); Kalvin Hagan (fifth) and Engst (sixth) in the pole vault; Brovitch in the long jump (fifth); Jewison in the triple jump (sixth); and Hanke in the shot put (fourth) and discus (fifth).

     At the section meet, the Panthers qualified six individuals for state as Carlson won the section title in the 400 for the third year in a row, Overmyer repeated as the section champ in the 1,600 and 3,200, and Fritze took second in the 300 hurdles for the second straight season. Fritze, Brovitch and Carlson repeated as section champs in the 4 x 400 relay as Remington Hagan earned his first state trip while Fritze, Hagan, Breitweser and Carlson won the 4 x 200 relay to give the Panthers two relays at state for the first time since 1995.

     Those efforts led the Panthers to third place with 72 points. East Grand Forks won the section title with 86.33 points while Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton was second with 80 points.

     Also placing at the section meet were Petersen in the discus (fourth), Jewison in the 1,600 (fifth), Brovitch in the high jump (fifth) and Kalvin Hagan in the pole vault (eighth).

     The other section competitors were Brovitch in the 400 (ninth), Jorgenson in the 110 hurdles (10th), and 300 hurdles (13th), Jewison in the 800 (12th), Kalvin Hagan in the 100 (13th), Remington Hagan in the long jump (13th), Jacobi in the 3,200 (13th), Petersen in the shot put (14th), Kantonen in the triple jump (15th), Hanke in the shot put (15th) and Carlson in the long jump (16th).

     Carlson’s runner-up finish in the 400 in his third state trip and Overmyer placing fourth and earning all-state honors for the third year in a row in the 3,200 at state capped off a successful season for the Panthers.

     Also scoring points and competing for the Panthers this season were Carlson in the 4 x 800 relay and 800; Overmyer in the 4 x 800 relay and 800; Fritze in the 60 hurdles, 200 and shot put; Rairdon in the 3,200; Jewison in the 4 x 800 relay; Breitweser in the 200; Remington Hagan in the high jump; Gorder in the 4 x 200 relay, 100 and 200; Kosel in the 4 x 200 relay; Hoyer in the 4 x 800 relay; Day in the 800; Jorgenson in the 4 x 400 relay; Adolphson in the 4 x 800 relay, 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400 relay; Rak in the 100 and pole vault; Daily in the 1,600; Christenson in the 1,600 and 3,200; Hanke in the pole vault; Kaleb Carlson in the 400; Noonan and Schulz in the shot put; Johnson in the discus; and Tretbar in the shot put and discus.

     Earning team awards were Carlson (MVP), Overmyer (Hardest Worker), Fritze and Petersen (Coaches Awards), and Remington Hagan and Jorgenson (Most Improved).

     “I was very pleased with the season. We took second at section True Team and Mid-State, won the subsection for the fourth year in a row, finished third in the section, sent two relays and three individuals to state in six events and brought home two medals from state. I kind of expected that, but it was nice to see the kids come through,” said Deegan. “We lose a lot of points with the graduation of our seniors, so we’ll be going through a rebuilding year. We have some experience back and some good young kids coming up. We’ll be down a little next year, but the future looks promising. Give us a couple years and hopefully we’ll be back to where we were this year.”

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