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Panthers take first in four events, repeat as Mid-State champions

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

Four winning times and six runner-up finishes helped the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team repeat as Mid-State Conference champs last Friday night at Detroit Lakes.

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Five Panthers earned all-conference honors with winning times. Katherine Erickson, Mandy Schirmers, Taylor Graham and Allycia Zinke opened the meet by winning the 200-yard medley relay. Zinke won the 100 butterfly and Erickson took first in the 100 backstroke. Erickson, Zinke, Schirmers and Emily Creager ended the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay.

Those efforts led the way as the Panthers compiled 460 points to defeat Perham/New York Mills' runner-up total of 417. Detroit Lakes was third with 263 points while Staples-Motley took fourth with 175 points.

Adding runner-up finishes for all-conference honorable mention honors for the Panthers were Creager in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle; Jessi Andersen in diving; Graham in the 100 butterfly; Erickson in the 500 freestyle; and Lauren Rossman, Hannah Williams, Heather Kniss and Creager in the 200 freestyle relay.

Also earning all-conference honorable mention honors by placing third were Schirmers in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, Zinke in the 50 freestyle, Ellen Hoffman in diving, and Tea Nyland in the 100 butterfly.

The Panthers jumped out to a 54-46 lead over Perham behind a winning time of 1:59.74 by Erickson, Schirmers, Graham and Zinke and a fourth-place 2:06.69 by Alex Pederson, Kayla Andersen, Nyland and Rossman in the 200 medley relay.

After Perham took an 87-85 lead despite Creager's runner-up 2:06.04 in the 200 freestyle, the Panthers regained the lead for good after the 200 individual medley as Schirmers (third in 2:27.77), Nyland (fourth in 2:36.07) and Graham (fifth in 2:36.86) gave Park Rapids a 122-121 edge.

Zinke's third-place 26.90 and Rossman's fourth-place 28.22 in the 50 freestyle helped the Panthers extend their lead to 157-144. A 2-3 showing by Jessi Andersen (with 296.25 points) and Hoffman (with 287.40 points) in diving pushed the Panthers' advantage to 189-155.

A 1-2-3-5 showing by Zinke (in 1:05.49), Graham (in 1:07.52), Nyland (in 1:08.22) and Christina Mackley (in 1:11.43) in the 100 butterfly extended the margin to 240-185 before Creager's runner-up 58.49 and a 5-6-7 showing by Rossman (in 1:01.94), Alyza Edevold (in 1:03.76) and Kniss (in 1:03.88) in the 100 freestyle gave Park Rapids its biggest lead of the meet at 279-216.

Perham mounted a comeback behind Rylie Rothmeyer's conference record of 5:34.34 in the 500 freestyle and a winning time of 1:47.77 in the 200 freestyle relay. That helped the Yellowjackets close the gap to 327-319 with three events to go. Erickson clocked a runner-up 5:41.48 in the 500 freestyle and Rossman, Williams, Kniss and Creager clocked a runner-up 1:51.18 in the 200 freestyle relay.

Erickson won the 100 backstroke in 1:05.55 while Hoffman (fourth in 1:11.85), Jessi Andersen (fifth in 1:12.26) and Emily Eystad (seventh in 1:13.22) followed as the Panthers regained control by claiming a 371-346 advantage.

The Panthers pushed their lead to 406-371 behind Schirmers' third-place 1:14.52, Williams' fifth-place 1:16.42 and Kayla Andersen's sixth-place 1:19.72 in the 100 breaststroke. Staples-Motley's Jaelin Beachy broke the conference record of 1:10.52 set by Park Rapids' Beth Morris in 1997 with a 1:10.04.

Park Rapids put the finishing touches on the win as Erickson, Zinke, Schirmers and Creager combined for a winning time of 3:55.51 in the 400 freestyle relay. Kniss, Edevold, Hoffman and Williams finished fourth in 4:15.75.

After successfully repeating as conference champs, the Panthers will prepare to defend their Section 8A title and seek individual state berths Nov. 11-12 at Detroit Lakes.

Team scores: Park Rapids 460, Perham/New York Mills 417, Detroit Lakes 263, Staples-Motley 175.

Individual results

200 medley relay: 1, Park Rapids (K. Erickson, Schirmers, Graham, Zinke), 1:59.74. 2, Perham, 1:59.80. 3, Detroit Lakes, 2:06.58. 4, Park Rapids (Pederson, K. Andersen, Nyland, Rossman), 2:06.69.

200 freestyle: 1, Rothmeyer, PNYM, 2:05.37. 2, Creager, PR, 2:06.04. 3, Hanson, PNYM, 2:11.46. 6, Williams, PR, 2:20.63. 8, Fritze, PR, 2:24.84. 9, S. Erickson, PR, 2:26.07.

200 individual medley: 1, Olson, DL, 2:23.64. 2, Kratzke, PNYM, 2:25.44. 3, Schirmers, PR, 2:27.77. 4, Nyland, PR, 2:36.07. 5, Graham, PR, 2:36.86. 9, Mackley, PR, 2:42.73.

50 freestyle: 1, Beachy, SM, 25.34. 2, Vulpius, DL, 26.47. 3, Zinke, PR, 26.90. 4, Rossman, PR, 28.22. 7, K. Andersen, PR, 28.58. 8, Edevold, PR, 28.71.

Diving: 1, Foster, DL, 341.85 points. 2, J. Andersen, PR, 296.25. 3, Hoffman, PR, 287.40. 7, Kniss, PR, 243.70.

100 butterfly: 1, Zinke, PR, 1:05.49. 2, Graham, PR, 1:07.52. 3, Nyland, PR, 1:08.22. 5, Mackley, PR, 1:11.43.

100 freestyle: 1, Murphy, PNYM, 57.52. 2, Creager, PR, 58.49. 3, Olson, DL, 58.75. 5, Rossman, PR, 1:01.94. 6, Edevold, PR, 1:03.76. 7, Kniss, PR, 1:03.88.

500 freestyle: 1, Rothmeyer, PNYM, 5:34.34 (conference record; old record: 5:35.59 by Lawrenz, DL, in 2006). 2, K. Erickson, PR, 5:41.48. 3, Burns, PNYM, 5:33.79. 9, Fritze, PR, 6:25.62. 10, S. Erickson, PR, 6:29.27. 11, Simonson, PR, 6:38.67.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Perham, 1:47.77. 2, Park Rapids (Rossman, Williams, Kniss, Creager), 1:51.18. 3, Perham, 1:52.73.

100 backstroke: 1, K. Erickson, PR, 1:05.55. 2, Meyer, PNYM, 1:09.80. 3, Livermore, DL, 1:11.36. 4, Hoffman, PR, 1:11.85. 5, J. Andersen, PR, 1:12.26. 7, Eystad, PR, 1:13.22.

100 breaststroke: 1, Beachy, SM, 1:10.04 (conference record; old record: 1:10.52 by Morris, PR in 1997). 2, Kratzke, PNYM, 1:11.70. 3, Schirmers, PR, 1:14.52. 5, Williams, PR, 1:16.42. 6, K. Andersen, PR, 1:19.72. 9, O'Hern, PR, 1:21.92.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Park Rapids (K. Erickson, Zinke, Schirmers, Creager), 3:55.51. 2, Perham, 3:56.72. 3, Detroit Lakes, 4:06.23. 4, Park Rapids (Kniss, Edevold, Hoffman, Williams), 4:15.75.

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