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Panthers shatter school record in 4 x 800 relay at Hamline meet

Park Rapids' 4 x 800-meter relay team took advantage of an invitation to compete at Friday's Hamline Elite Track and Field Meet at Hamline University by breaking the school record.

Lydia Lutz, Shelby Pierce, Summer Ellefson and Victoria Lutz finished sixth with a time of 9:41.86. That broke the school record of 9:47.42 set by the Lutzs, Hannah Wolff and Sophie Shogren at the Section 8A meet in 2008. That relay team finished fifth at last year's state Class A meet with a time of 9:59.01.

The Panthers' relay team entered the elite meet with a qualifying time of 9:54.25. That was the sixth fastest qualifying time in the state. Prior Lake took first with a time of 9:27.72 while Hopkins was second in 9:29.33. Also finishing ahead of the Panthers were Minnetonka in 9:30.20, Sartell-St. Stephen in 9:31.76 and Roseville in 9:41.70. All those relay teams are from Class AA schools.

Defending Class A champion Kasson-Mantorville was seventh in 9:47.85 and Perham was eighth in 9:49.41.

The Panthers' time of 9:41.86 is the fastest time so far among the Class A teams in the state.