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Park Rapids’ Abby Mueller (middle) battled Chatfield’s Mariah Bell (left) and Minnehaha Academy’s Jacquelyn Bedingham during Friday’s preliminaries of the 200-meter dash at Hamline University.
Park Rapids’ Abby Mueller (middle) battled Chatfield’s Mariah Bell (left) and Minnehaha Academy’s Jacquelyn Bedingham during Friday’s preliminaries of the 200-meter dash at Hamline University.

Panthers place in three events at state

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sports Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

     Five of Park Rapids’ qualifiers fulfilled their goal by bringing home a medal from the state Class A track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul Friday and Saturday.

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     Mady Vaudrin finished sixth in the 100-meter dash in 12.97 and joined Sarah Harshman, Abby Mueller and Paige Hill on the 4 x 100 relay team that finished seventh in 50.87. That gave the Panthers 7 points to share 43rd place in the team standings. Warroad and Milaca tied for first with 42 points.

     Isaac Overmyer earned a medal for the second year in a row in the 3,200 run by placing sixth in 9:43.91. That gave the Panthers 4 points for a share of 59th place in the team standings. Foley won the state title with 62 points.

     Overmyer, who finished ninth in the 3,200 at last year’s state meet in 9:58.20, earned another medal during Friday’s finals. Overmyer, who was seeded No. 15 entering the state meet after winning the Section 8A title in 10:28.95, improved on that time to earn a spot on the podium. Finishing ahead of the Park Rapids sophomore were Foley’s Charlie Lawrence (in 9:33.73), Perham’s Keeghan Hurley (9:34.67) and Brady Speicher (9:39.36), Washington Technology’s Ashenafi Hatte (9:39.43) and St. Cloud Cathedral’s Cole Wintheiser (9:41.95). Also placing were Minnehaha Academy’s Ephraim Bird (9:45.63), New Richland’s TJ Schiltz (9:53.33) and St. James’ Jonathan Surber (9:55.02).

     Vaudrin entered the state meet seeded No. 6 in the 100 dash after taking second at the section meet in 12.78. The Park Rapids junior earned a spot in the finals by clocking a 12.76 for sixth place during Friday’s preliminaries. Pequot Lakes’ Vanessa Lane had the top time of 12.48 while the final spot in the finals was shared by Foley’s Vanessa Brenny and BOLD’s Jamilla Stimpel in 12.79.

     In the finals, Vaudrin clocked a 12.97 to finish behind the 12.53 by Lane, the 12.65 by Martin County’s Haley Jensen, the 12.75 by Warroad’s Deidre Hahn, the 12.77 by Milaca’s Kaija Crowe and the 12.90 by Minnehaha Academy’s Jacquelyn Behingha. Also earning medals were Stimpel (13.01), Brenny (13.02) and International Falls’ Breanna Shofner (13.25).

     The 4 x 100 relay team entered the state meet seeded No. 13 after winning the section title in 51.92. Harshman, Mueller, Hill and Vaudrin finished fifth during Friday’s preliminaries with a 50.74 to advance. Pequot Lakes had the fastest time of 49.91 while Martin County West and Lake City earned the final state spots with times of 51.11.

     During Saturday’s finals, the Panthers clocked a 50.87 to finish behind Pequot Lakes (49.54), Martin County West (49.86), Plainview (50.15), Byron (50.33), Concordia Academy (50.47) and Osakis (50.86). Trailing the Panthers were Foley (51.04) and Blue Earth Area (51.08).

Other Panthers miss spot in finals

     The positive thing for Park Rapids’ other state qualifiers was almost everyone improved on their times that led to state at the Section 8A meet.

     The negative thing was those times weren’t good enough to advance to the finals.

     Megan Grimes led off Friday’s preliminaries with a 16.25 in the 100 hurdles. That was just better than her winning time of 16.26 at the section meet, but ended up placing her 10th on Friday. Byron’s Kelsey Von Berge claimed the final spot in the finals with a 16.06 while Staples-Motley’s Jaelin Beachy had the best preliminary time of 14.93. Beachy won the state title in 15.12 Saturday. Grimes entered as the No. 10 seed.

     Kurt Fritze followed with a preliminary time of 18.48 for 15th place in the 110 hurdles. Fritze took second at the section meet in 16.78 and was tied for the No. 16 seed out of 17 state qualifiers. New Life Academy’s Mark Schreiner clocked a 15.87 for the final spot in the finals while St. Croix Lutheran’s Jon Tollefson had the fastest time of 14.70. Tollefson took first in Saturday’s finals with a 14.72.

     Grimes, Grace Bateman, Harshman and Vaudrin finished 12th in the 4 x 200 relay in 1:48.69. That was better than the 1:50.45 they clocked to win the section title. Holdingford earned the final spot in the finals with a 1:47.58 while Osakis led preliminaries with a 1:45.33. Chatfield won the state title in 1:44.79. Park Rapids entered state as the No. 13 seed.

     Austin Carlson clocked a season-best 51.32 to finish 14th during Friday’s preliminaries of the 400. Carlson clocked a 51.92 to win the section title and was the No. 14 seed entering state. Yellow Medicine East’s Jacob Pederson claimed the final spot in the finals with a 50.46 while Kendall Strandlund of Christ’s Household of Faith led the way during preliminaries with a 48.84. Strandlund won the state title in 48.93.

     Bateman fell short in her attempt to return to the finals in the 300 hurdles with a preliminary time of 48.07 for 14th place. Bateman won the section title with a 49.47 and was seeded No. 15. Blue Earth Area’s Taylor Grandgenett had the fastest time of 45.40 while Pipestone Area’s Maria Spanier claimed the final spot in the finals with a 47.30. Grandgenett claimed the state title in 45.03.

     Fritze just missed advancing to the finals in the 300 hurdles by placing 10th in 41.87. At the section meet, Fritze finished second in 42.75 and entered state as the No. 15 seed. The final spot in the finals was taken by Winona Cotter’s Joe Koll in 41.57 while Rockford’s Jordan O’Reilly had the fastest time of 40.07. Tollefson ended up taking first in 39.90.

     Mueller followed by also just missing a spot in the finals in the 200 with a time of 26.43 for 10th place. Mueller took second at the section meet with a 26.86 and was the No. 12 seed at state. Esko’s Erika Shady was the final qualifier with a 26.36 while Milaca’s Kaija Crowe led the field with a time of 25.36. Crowe captured the state title with a 25.38.

     Carlson entered as the No. 16 seed in the 200 and finished there with a time of 24.55. Carlson was the section runner-up with a time of 24.08. Foley’s Tyler Beehler took first Friday in 22.11 while Prairie Seed’s CJ Moise Damey was the last qualifier in 23.03. The state championship went to Beehler in 21.85.

     In the girls 4 x 400 relay, Grimes, Tori Hilmanowski, Mueller and Bateman finished 13th in 4:13.79. That was ahead of their 4:19.72 that led to the section title. Blue Earth Area led the way with a 4:00.52 while Grand Meadow claimed the final spot in the finals with a 4:09.64. Osakis won the state title in 3:58.34. Park Rapids entered as the No. 15 seed.

     Fritze, Jake Waggoner, Bryce Brovitch and Carlson ended Friday’s preliminaries by being disqualified for an early lane change in the finals of the boys 4 x 400 relay. That group would have clocked a 3:34.08, which was faster than their section-championship time of 3:37.03. Minnehaha Academy clocked a 3:24.59 for the top time while Redwood Valley earned the final spot in the finals with a 3:29.56. Madalia/Truman won the state title in 3:23.30. Park Rapids entered as the No. 15 seed.

     Megan Olson, who entered as the No. 15 seed, finished 16th in the 1,600 with a 5:33.44 during Saturday’s finals. Blake’s Clare Flanagan won the state title in 4:48.41 to set a Class A record. Olson was the section runner-up in 5:32.34.

     Overmyer ended Saturday’s finals by placing 12th in the 1,600 in 4:38.18. Overmyer won the section title in 4:47.97 and was the No.  15 seed entering state. Waseca’s Shane Streich won the state title in 4:17.32.

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