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A successful season ended with a successful state meet for the Park Rapids Clay Dusters trap-shooting team. Park Rapids, which placed 24th with a 442 in its state debut last season, moved up to 12th place with a 455 during Saturday's 2017 Minnesota State High School League's Clay Target State Tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club at Prior Lake.
Even though the Park Rapids boys tennis team didn't win a match this spring, head coach Mike Baumgartner was pleased with the improvement of his players. The Panthers finished with a 0-10 record in dual meets during the regular season to earn the No. 8 spot for the Section 8A tournament. Thief River Falls, the No. 1 seed, eliminated the Panthers with a 7-0 victory in a section quarterfinal match as Park Rapids ended with a 0-11 record.
A total of 22 youth golfers moved a step closer to competing at Augusta National Golf Club by advancing from a local qualifying Drive, Chip and Putt Competition at Headwaters Country Club on June 21. Golfers competed in four age levels and earned points based on accuracy and distance on three drives, accuracy on three chips and accuracy on three putts. A total of 53 golfers competed in this local qualifier.
Park Rapids' Mady Vaudrin competed in the javelin and sprints for the Minnesota State University Moorhead women's track and field team this spring. Vaudrin capped off her junior season by competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Outdoor Championships May 13 at Concordia-St. Paul's Seafoam Stadium in the javelin and 4 x 100-meter relay.
Runners are encouraged to pre-register online for the 39th annual Firecracker Footrace, which begins and ends at Park Rapids' Heartland Park on Tuesday, July 4. The 5K run/walk begins at 9 a.m. and is limited to the first 850 runners and walkers who register. The cost to pre-register is $30. Online registration closes at 10 p.m. on July 2. Go to www.firecrackerfootrace.com to pre-register. The cost to register at Heartland Park on July 3 (from 6-8 p.m.) and July 4 (from 7-8:15 a.m.) will be $35. Runners can pick up bibs at these times.
Al Pietila threw a two-hitter in sparking Sebeka to a 6-0 win over the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team Wednesday night. Sebeka jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning behind a lead-off double by Mason Dailey; a single by Pietila; walks to Isaac Anderson, Noah Stevens and Lars Keranen; and a two-run single by Thomas Litzau. After a walk to Jack Lillquist, Park Rapids starter Gabe Bagstad recorded a strikeout to leave the bases loaded.
Nevis' Riley Hanson received one final honor to cap off her volleyball career at Concordia-St. Paul. The Concordia-St. Paul department of athletics selected Hanson as the 2016-17 Female Athlete of the Year. The award is nominated and voted by athletic department head coaches and administrators. This marked the second time Hanson has received the honor.
Brooke Jerger and Macky Warne combined to allow only one hit while striking out 21 batters in leading the Park Rapids 18U fastpitch softball team to a doubleheader sweep at Waubun Tuesday night.
Phil Stuemke and Jared Hoefs weren't surprised when the Park Rapids Clay Dusters captured the Class 3A title at the 2017 Trap Shooting Championship at Alexandria on June 14. "I expected it," said Stuemke, the head coach of the Clay Dusters. "I have high expectations for these students. They work hard and are so competitive. They did so well. We really cleaned house there. I'm so proud of them."
Park Rapids' Austin Carlson capped off his junior season as a member of the University of Minnesota Duluth men's track team by placing in two events at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships at Seafoam Stadium on the campus of Concordia-St. Paul on May 12-13.