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Panthers take runner-up honors in 8A True Team meet after loss to Lakers

The Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team relied on a total team effort to earn runner-up honors at Saturday's Section 8A True Team meet at Bemidji.

Park Rapids compiled 1,359 points to finish behind Bemidji's 1,438 total in this nine-team meet.

Detroit Lakes, which finished seventh in the True Team standings, ended the Panthers' bid for an undefeated season in dual meets with a 95-91 win Thursday night at Detroit Lakes. That loss dropped Park Rapids to 6-1-1 in dual meets.

Todd Fritze's team will return to Detroit Lakes for the Mid-State Conference meet on Oct. 30.

Panthers finish second

Three individual runner-up finishes led the Panthers to a runner-up finish at Saturday's Section 8A True Team meet.

Katherine Erickson, Mandy Schirmers, Kyja Penning and Emily Creager clocked a runner-up 2:01.20 in the 200-yard medley.

Penning finished second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:05.59 and Erickson was second in the 100 backstroke in 1:06.26 and third in the 500 freestyle in 5:53.12. Schirmers also finished third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:16.92.

Other top efforts were turned in by Creager in the 200 freestyle (fifth in 2:11.50) and 100 freestyle (fourth in 1:00.25), Schirmers in the 200 individual medley (sixth in 2:33.58), Allycia Zinke in the 50 freestyle (fourth in 27.97), Penning in diving (fourth with 290.95 points), and Taylor Ondracek in the 100 backstroke (fourth in 1:08.39).

The 400 freestyle relay team of Erickson, Zinke, Schirmers and Creager finished third in 3:59.87 while the 200 freestyle relay team of Penning, Hannah Williams, Leah Meinert and Zinke finished fourth in 1:50.43.

Team scores: Bemidji 1,438, Park Rapids 1,359, Perham/New York Mills 1,257, Warroad 1,207, Fosston/Bagley 1,077, Thief River Falls 1,028.50, Detroit Lakes 983, Roseau 604, Crookston 508.50.

Relays lift Lakers to win

The Lakers jumped out to a 46-32 lead after diving before holding off a late rally to hand Park Rapids its first loss of the season.

Detroit Lakes won the first six events, highlighted by 1-2 finishes in the 50 freestyle and diving, in building a 53-41 lead with six events to go.

Ondracek, Schirmers, Penning and Meinert were touched out in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:04.20. Creager (2:10.80) and Erickson (2:12.54) went 2-3 in the 200 freestyle while Schirmers (2:37.01), Meinert (2:39.20) and Abby Hanson (2:46.45) went 2-3-4 in the 200 individual medley. Zinke was third in the 50 freestyle in 27.67 and Penning finished third in diving with 204.80 points as the Panthers faced a 46-32 deficit.

After a 2-3-4 showing by Penning (1:04.69), Zinke (1:07.45) and Hanson (1:14.86) in the 100 butterfly, the Panthers trailed 53-41. That's when Park Rapids' comeback started.

Creager won the 100 freestyle in 58.54 and Williams finished third in the 1:02.64 as the Panthers trailed 58-54.

Detroit Lakes went 1-2 in the 500 freestyle to build a 68-58 lead before Creager, Meinert, Schirmers and Zinke won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:50.69. A 1-2 showing by Ondracek (1:06.37) and Erickson (1:07.28) in the 100 backstroke provided a 79-77 lead.

A 2-3 showing by Williams (1:18.86) and Melissa Haas (1:20.52) in the 100 breaststroke kept the Panthers in front 87-85 with one event remaining.

The Lakers went 1-3 in the 400 freestyle relay to pull off the victory. Erickson, Zinke, Penning and Creager clocked a runner-up 3:57.45 for the Panthers.