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Jake Waggoner won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:12.47 in helping the Panthers win the Mid-State Conference title.

Panthers edge Lakers, capture Mid-State title

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Despite winning only three events, the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team won the Mid-State Conference title last Friday night at Detroit Lakes.

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The Panthers used a strong finish to finish with 456 points to edge Detroit Lakes' team total of 439. Perham was third with 328 points.

All first-place finishers received all-conference honors while those placing second and third received all-conference honorable mention honors.

Detroit Lakes won the first two events to build an 80-78 lead. Connor Smythe, Dillon Schroeder, Fred Stinar and Zach Eystad clocked a runner-up 1:49.76 in the 200-yard medley relay to lead the Panthers to 48 points. Waggoner finished third in the 200 freestyle with a 1:58.09 as the Panthers scored 30 points in that event.

Smythe led a 3-4-5 showing in the 200 individual medley with a 2:23.17 as the Panthers scored 38 points to take a 116-112 lead. Zach Eystad's runner-up 23.75 in the 50 freestyle helped the Panthers score 35 points to hold on to a 151-149 advantage.

Kalvin Hagan's winning score of 369.85 points in diving led to 42 points as the Panthers clung to a 193-190 advantage.

After the Lakers took a 224-213 lead after the 100 butterfly, a 1-2-3 sweep in the 100 freestyle gave Detroit Lakes a 267-237 advantage. Park Rapids scored 20 points in the 100 butterfly and 24 points in the 100 freestyle.

Waggoner's winning time of 5:12.47 in the 500 freestyle started Park Rapids' comeback. Schroeder added a third-place time of 5:46.07 as the Panthers had four swimmers in the top-five spots and scored 49 points in that event to claim a 286-283 edge.

A 2-3 showing by Smythe, Ben Kading, Waggoner and Eystad (in 1:34.79) and Kurt Fritze, Matt Konshok, Stinar and Bobby Bruce (in 1:42.14) led to 50 points in the 200 freestyle relay and gave the Panthers a 336-335 lead.

Smythe's winning time of 58.55 in the 100 backstroke helped add 40 more points to the Panthers' team score for a 376-361 advantage before Hagan's runner-up 1:09.28 helped produce 30 more points in the 100 breaststroke as the Panthers carried a 406-385 lead into the final event.

The Panthers sealed the win with a 2-3 showing in the 400 freestyle as Kading, Fritze, Bruce and Waggoner clocked a runner-up 3:42.39 while Tyler Breitweser, Matthew Benson, Schroeder and Spencer Adolphson followed in 4:00.06 for the final 50 points.

Three conference records were set by Detroit Lakes. Isaac Clem clocked a 23.00 to break the record in the 50 freestyle of 23.01 held by Park Rapids' Tom Theisen since 1987. Carter Krengel broke the conference record in the 100 freestyle with a 49.47. Staples-Motley's Mark Lewica held the old record of 49.89 set in 1988. Clem, Krengel, Austin McCullough and Mike Okeson set a new record in the 200 freestyle with a 1:34.36. The old record was 1:36.53 set by Detroit Lakes in 1992.

"After the 100 freestyle, I told the kids to be patient and not to panic," said Park Rapids head coach Todd Fritze, whose team won the conference title for the first time since 2008. "The kids kept plugging away. It was cool to be a part of that. It was an awesome meet for us."

All three teams will now prepare for the Section 5A meet Feb. 22-23 at Bemidji.

Team scores: Park Rapids 456, Detroit Lakes 439, Perham 328.

Individual results

200 medley relay: 1, Detroit Lakes, 1:48.41. 2, Park Rapids (Smythe, Schroeder, Stinar, Z. Eystad), 1:49.76. 3, Perham, 1:50.81. 4, Park Rapids (Breitweser, Hagan, Adolphson, Konshok), 1:57.29.

200 freestyle: 1, Krengel, DL, 1:52.52. 2, Cullen, P, 1:55.48. 3, Waggoner, PR, 1:58.09. 5, B. Bruce, PR, 2:07.39. 8, Benson, PR, 2:15.92. 10, Wallace, PR, 2:18.48.

200 individual medley: 1, Olson, DL, 2:10.92. 2, Langendorfer, P, 2:14.55. 3, Smythe, PR, 2:23.17. 4, H. Utke, PR, 2:33.85. 5, Konshok, PR, 2:37.12. 8, Zinke, PR, 2:44.64.

50 freestyle: 1, Clem, DL, 23.00. 2, Z. Eystad, PR, 23.75. 3, McCullough, DL, 24.32. 4, Kading, PR, 24.55. 5, Fritze, PR, 24.76. 12, Froelich, PR, 30.80.

Diving: 1, Hagan, PR, 369.85 points. 2, Freeman, DL, 359.10. 3, Kempenich, DL, 302.55. 5, Stinar, PR, 273.40. 6, Breitweser, PR, 258.45. 7, Fritze, PR, 256.05.

100 butterfly: 1, Okeson, DL, 1:02.17. 2, Swanson, P, 1:02.69. 3, Potts, P, 1:07.04. 6, Adolphson, PR, 1:08.01. 7, Stinar, PR, 1:08.54. 10, Froelich, PR, 1:10.15. 12, Zinke, PR, 1:18.44.

100 freestyle: 1, Krengel, DL, 49.47. 2, Clem, DL, 52.32. 3, McCullough, DL, 54.43. 4, Z. Eystad, PR, 54.57. 6, Kading, PR, 55.73. 10, Merfeld, PR, 1:01.22. 12, Wallace, PR, 1:03.76.

500 freestyle: 1, Waggoner, PR, 5:12.47. 2, Cullen, P, 5:22.95. 3, Schroeder, PR, 5:46.07. 4, B. Bruce, PR, 5:53.15. 5, Benson, PR, 5:55.53.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Detroit Lakes, 1:34.36. 2, Park Rapids (Smythe, Kading, Waggoner, Z. Eystad), 1:34.79. 3, Park Rapids (Fritze, Konshok, Stinar, B. Bruce), 1:42.14.

100 backstroke: 1, Smythe, PR, 58.55. 2, Olson, DL, 59.72. 3, Potts, P, 1:04.24. 5, Breitweser, PR, 1:06.96. 6, Konshok, PR, 1:10.02. 8, Merfeld, PR, 1:10.49.

100 breaststroke: 1, Langendorfer, P, 1:07.94. 2, Hagan, PR, 1:09.28. 3, Richter, DL, 1:11.54. 5, Schroeder, PR, 1:12.94. 8, H. Utke, PR, 1:17.85. 11, Adolphson, PR, 1:19.96.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Detroit Lakes, 3:34.19. 2, Park Rapids (Kading, Fritze, B. Bruce, Waggoner), 3:42.39. 3, Park Rapids (Breitweser, Benson, Schroeder, Adolphson), 4:00.06.

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