Park Rapids girls finish fourth at state True Team meet
At last year's state Class A girls track and field True Team meet, Park Rapids' six seniors provided the leadership for a fifth-place finish.
With no seniors on this year's team, the Panthers remembered what they learned from Heather Goodwater, Nikki Knott, Victoria Lutz, Kyja Penning, Shannon Taylor and Hannah Wolff.
Despite being the only one of nine teams without a senior on the roster, the Panthers managed to improve on last year's showing by moving up to fourth place during a rainy state meet at Stillwater.
The Panthers used a pair of winning performances by Lydia Lutz in the distance events to compile 308 points to trail only Esko's 452, Blue Earth Area's 435 and Luverne's 372. Mayer Lutheran finished fifth with 292.50 points.
At last year's state meet, the Panthers finished fifth with 313 points, trailing Luverne (428), Esko (422), Blue Earth Area (397) and Mayer Lutheran (354).
"We did have our sights set a little higher, but we are extremely proud of these girls and how they fought hard till the bitter end," said Park Rapids head coach Corey Hill. "We had the youngest team at the meet and yet they delivered in a big way. The impact that the senior class from last year left burns bright and strong in this team. Their legacy can be seen everywhere you look."
The Panthers opened the meet by placing fourth in the 4 x 800-meter relay in 10:17.32. That showing by Lora Remus, Tayah Otterness, Katherine Erickson and Summer Ellefson gave Park Rapids 18 points.
After scoring 9 points in the 100 hurdles behind Megan Grimes' 19.21 and Justine Rittgers' 18.79 for 14th and 15th place, Mady Vaudrin clocked a runner-up 13.46 in the 100 dash. Hannah Gorder finished ninth in 13.76 as the Panthers scored 27 points in that event.
Grimes, Emily Klingenberg, Abby Mueller and Sarah Harshman finished eighth in the 4 x 200 relay in 1:56.97 for 6 points.
Lutz won the 1,600 run in 5:25.84 and Kaylee Hilmanowski placed 13th in 6:02.65 to give the Panthers 24 points in that race.
The Panthers scored 18 points in the 4 x 100 as Gorder, Jenna Polley, Grace Bateman and Vaudrin combined for a 53.99 for fourth place.
In the 400 dash, Shelby Pierce and Ellefson finished sixth and seventh with respective times of 1:03.15 and 1:03.38 for 25 points.
Bateman took fourth in 49.07 and Grimes was 14th in 54.90 as the Panthers scored 20 points in the 300 hurdles.
Park Rapids scored 29 points in the 800 run as Pierce finished third in 2:26.89 and Remus placed sixth in 2:30.27.
Vaudrin finished seventh in 27.93 and Gorder was 17th in 29.10 to give the Panthers 14 points in the 200 dash.
Lutz won her second event with a time of 11:48.05 in the 3,200 run. Heidi Lageson finished 11th in 12:51.84 as the Panthers scored 26 points in that event.
Ellefson, Bateman, Mandy Schirmers and Pierce concluded the running events with a runner-up 4:15.11 in the 4 x 400 relay for 24 points.
In the six field events, the Panthers scored 68 points.
Bateman finished fifth by clearing 8 feet, 6 inches and Ellen Hoffman took 12th by clearing 7-6 as the Panthers scored 21 points in the pole vault.
In the high jump, Grimes finished sixth at 4-8 and Tori Lauderbaugh finished 14th at 4-4 to give Park Rapids 18 points.
The Panthers scored 14 points in the triple jump when Klingenberg finished 11th at 30-4.75 and Ellefson took 13th at 29-6.
Samantha Harshman threw the shot put 27-2 for 14th place and Danielle Hill had a distance of 23-10 for 18th place for 6 points.
Lydia Schaum finished 16th at 12-10 and Hill was 17th at 12-7.50 in the long jump for 5 points.
In the discus, Sarah Harshman finished 16th at 76-6 and Samantha Harshman was 18th at 67-8 for 4 points.
"With only four events left, we were in eighth place and just hoping to get a ribbon. We weren't thinking about placing higher than last year. The girls kept a great attitude and worked hard and supported one another all the way to the finish," said Hill. "The coolest thing of the day was after the awards ceremony when we were packing up camp. The talk had already switched to next year and how they couldn't wait to get back here again and how they were going to do. Looking back over the meet, it is amazing to see a team have so much pride in their school and community. We walked away with no regrets and had a wonderful experience."
Girls team scores: Esko 452, Blue Earth Area 435, Luverne 372, Park Rapids 308, Mayer Lutheran 292.50, United South Central 286.50, Lake City 285.50, Osakis 274, Warroad 222.50.
4 x 800 relay: 1, Esko, 10:10.87. 4, Park Rapids (Lora Remus, Tayah Otterness, Katherine Erickson, Summer Ellefson), 10:17.32.
100 hurdles: 1, Katlyn Sawtelle, Luverne, 15.36. 14, Megan Grimes, PR, 19.21. 15, Justine Rittgers, PR, 19.70.
100 dash: 1, Alyson Glumac, Esko, 13.36. 2, Mady Vaudrin, PR, 13.46. 9, Hannah Gorder, PR, 13.76.
4 x 200 relay: 1, Osakis, 1:50.02. 8, Park Rapids (Megan Grimes, Emily Klingenberg, Abby Mueller, Sarah Harshman), 1:56.97.
1,600 run: 1, Lydia Lutz, PR, 5:25.84. 13, Kaylee Hilmanowski, PR, 6:02.65.
4 x 100 relay: 1, Osakis, 52.67. 4, Park Rapids (Hannah Gorder, Jenna Polley, Grace Bateman, Mady Vaudrin), 53.99.
400 dash: 1, Krista Hassing, Blue Earth, 1:01.07. 6, Shelby Pierce, PR, 1:03.15. 7, Summer Ellefson, PR, 1:03.38.
300 hurdles: 1, Katlyn Sawtelle, Luverne, 47.56. 4, Grace Bateman, PR, 49.07. 14, Megan Grimes, PR, 54.90.
800 run: 1, Marisa Shady, Esko, 2:24.77. 3, Shelby Pierce, PR, 2:26.89. 6, Lora Remus, PR, 2:30.27.
200 dash: 1, Katlyn Sawtelle, Luverne, 26.43. 7, Mady Vaudrin, PR, 27.93. 17, Hannah Gorder, PR, 29.10.
3,200 run: 1, Lydia Lutz, PR, 11:48.05. 11, Heidi Lageson, PR, 12:51.84.
4 x 400 relay: 1, Esko, 4:11.60. 2, Park Rapids (Summer Ellefson, Grace Bateman, Mandy Schirmers, Shelby Pierce), 4:15.11.
Shot put: 1, Brittany Erdmann, Mayer Lutheran, 39-6.50. 14, Samantha Harshman, PR, 27-2. 18, Danielle Hill, PR, 23-10.
Discus: 1, Brittany Erdmann, Mayer Lutheran, 116-5. 16, Sarah Harshman, PR, 76-6. 18, Samantha Harshman, PR, 67-8.
Long jump: 1, Caitlyn Lilly, Esko, 16-1.75. 16, Lydia Schaum, PR, 12-10. 17, Danielle Hill, PR, 12-7.50.
Triple jump: 1, Anna Gay, Lake City, 33-1. 11, Emily Klingenberg, PR, 30-4.75. 13, Summer Ellefson, PR, 29-6.
High jump: 1 (tie), Paige Nath, Luverne, and Deidre Hahn, Warroad, 4-10. 6, Megan Grimes, PR, 4-8. 14, Tori Lauderbaugh, PR, 4-4.
Pole vault: 1, Marissia Hagedorn, Blue Earth, 10-6. 5, Grace Bateman, PR, 8-6. 12, Ellen Hoffman, PR, 7-6.