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Going into Saturday's Section 8A meet, Corey Hill expected the Park Rapids girls track and field team to repeat as champions and qualify for the state Class A meet in nine events. Mission accomplished. The Panthers easily lived up to those expectations by running away with the team title with 123 points and advancing 10 individuals in nine events to state. Entering the section meet, seniors Summer Ellefson (in the 400-meter dash), Shelby Pierce (in the 800 run) and Lydia Lutz (in the 3,200 run) were favored to qualify for state in their individual events.
Based on their best performances of the season, Patrick Deegan expected Park Rapids and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley would battle down to the wire to decide who would win the Subsection 8-29A boys track and field title. It wasn't as close as Deegan expected. The outcome was decided way before the final event as the Panthers used 10 winning efforts and six runner-up finishes to repeat as subsection champs Thursday at Mahnomen. Scott Wolff, Forrest Drury and Austin Carlson combined to win seven events in leading the Panthers to the team title with 213 points.
Corey Hill expected the Park Rapids girls track and field team would run away with the Subsection 8-29A title for the seventh year in a row. The Panthers didn't disappoint as 15 different competitors produced 14 winning efforts and five runner-up finishes as the defending champs compiled 263.50 points at Mahnomen Thursday.
The Park Rapids boys golf team is peaking at the right time. Tadd Usher said the Panthers had the talent to shoot a round under 330 this season. The Panthers fulfilled that goal at last Tuesday's Bagley Invitational. Led by Ian Johnson's career-best 77, the Panthers carded a 327 at Bagley.
David Dirks threw a two-hitter as the Park Rapids baseball team closed out the regular season with a 10-0 five-inning win at Bagley Thursday. The Panthers scored six runs in the third and four in the fourth to end this game early via the 10-run rule. In the third, singles by Tyler McCollum and Zach Eystad, an RBI single by Sam Coborn, a three-run double by Drew Bade and an RBI single by Chris Goplerud gave the Panthers a 6-0 lead. Singles by Ryan Peterson and Eystad, an error and an RBI triple by Cory Odland led to the final four runs in the fourth. McCollum and Eystad both went 2 for
Katie Kristofferson shot an 89 and Alyza Edevold added a career-best 104 to lead the Park Rapids girls golf team at Tuesday's Detroit Lakes Invitational. Mariena Dearstyne's 94 and Riley Kimball's 118 completed the Panthers' 405 team score. Detroit Lakes, behind Kate Smith's 73, took first in this 10-team meet with a school record 306.
Jessy Noreen threw a three-hitter and struck out 13 in leading Hawley to an 8-1 victory over the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team in the first round of the Section 8AA South playoffs Tuesday. Hawley, the No. 4 seed, strung together four singles to score five times in the third inning to spark the win. The No. 5-seeded Panthers managed only three baserunners through the first four innings before scoring their lone run in the fifth.
Staples-Motley didn't drop a game in singles as the Cardinals opened the Section 8A boys tennis tournament with a 7-0 win over Park Rapids Monday. Staples-Motley, the No. 3 seed, also swept the three doubles matches to advance to the section semifinals. Scott Smith and Mitch Fossen won the first set before dropping the next two at No. 1 doubles while Calvin Bateman and Jeff Dickinson battled in a three-set loss at No. 2 doubles as the Panthers ended the season with a 4-11 record. Park Rapids entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed.
Pete Gaustad almost single-handedly defeated the Park Rapids baseball team Monday night. Gaustad threw a one-hitter and struck out 15 and aided his cause by blasting two home runs and driving in five runs in leading Fergus Falls to a 9-2 victory in this game between Section 8AA rivals at the Area High School field. The Panthers scored an unearned run in the first when Zach Eystad and Sam Coborn reached on errors and Eystad scored on a wild pitch. Park Rapids extended the lead to 2-0 in the third with another unearned run when Coborn reached on an error, stole second and scored on Chris G
The top scorer in boys hockey history and one of the top distance runners in school history received top honors at Wednesday's 35th annual Park Rapids All Sports Banquet. Sam Coborn and Lydia Lutz were named the 2012 Male and Female Student Athletes while Forrest Drury was named the 2012 Outstanding Male Athlete and Summer Ellefson and Shelby Pierce shared the 2012 Outstanding Female Athlete award. In addition, Leo Jacobson and the 1970 wrestling team featuring Mark Costello, Tom Henry, Dick Pike, Joe Safratowich and John Siegel were inducted into the Panther Athletic Hall of Fame. Lutz