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Clutch hitting and a solid pitching performance helped the Park Rapids fastpitch softball open the season with a victory Thursday afternoon. Two-out, two-run singles by Katelyn Hilmanowski and Ashley Thelen sparked the offense and backed Olivia Vaadeland's eight-strikeout performance as the Panthers defeated Bagley 6-4 at the Area High School field. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a walk to Lexi Burlingame and an RBI double by Lauren Naeve. In the third, a single by Hilmanowski, a wild pitch and a two-out RBI single by Vaadeland gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Naeve
Before the season began, Steve Schreiber was looking for the Menahga girls basketball team to finish in the upper half in both the Park Region Conference and Section 5A West standings. The Braves fell just short of meeting those expectations by going 6-6 in conference play and 11-14 overall. Menahga got off to a fast start by opening the season with wins over Park Rapids (73-35) and Hill City (65-15) and a conference win over Verndale (66-41). After dropping a conference game to pre-season favorite Sebeka (55-47) and losing to Wadena-Deer Creek (80-59), the Braves defeated Eagle Valley (
Emily Klingenberg and the 4 x 800-meter relay team turned in winning performances in leading the Park Rapids girls track and field team to runner-up honors at Tuesday's Little Amik Invitational at Bemidji State University. Klingenberg took first in the triple jump with a distance of 31 feet, 5 inches while Shelby Pierce, Summer Ellefson, Lora Remus and Megan Olson teamed up to win the 4 x 800 relay in 10:14.50 as the Panthers compiled 68.42 points.
Marion Goeden is hoping the Park Rapids girls fastpitch softball team can duplicate what happened last season. A year ago, the Panthers returned only four varsity players and had seven players in new positions. All that team accomplished was going 19-7 to tie the school record for wins in a season and advancing to the section championship game for only the fourth time in school history. Leading the Panthers last season were the senior trio of Alyssa Carlson, Ashley Domino and Anna Grimes.
Last season, the Park Rapids boys track and field team exceeded expectations by winning the Subsection 8-29A title for the first time since 2004, qualifying 13 individuals in 14 events and tying for eighth place at the Section 8A meet, and advancing a runner to the state Class A meet for the first time since 2002. Head coach Patrick Deegan is looking for the Panthers to surpass those accomplishments this season. The Panthers peaked at the end of the season by placing eighth at the Section 6A True Team meet with 585.50 points and finishing fourth at the Mid-State Conference meet with 54 poi
Depth was a main reason the Park Rapids girls track and field team enjoyed a very successful season last spring. Depth could be the key in leading the Panthers to an even more successful season this spring. Despite not having a senior on the roster last season, the Panthers defended the Section 6A True Team title with 902 points, finished fourth at the state Class A True Team meet with 308 points, earned runner-up honors at the Mid-State Conference meet with 114.50 points, captured the Subsection 8-29A title for the sixth year in a row with 233.33 points and repeated as the Section 8A cham
Matt Brandt thought the Park Rapids boys basketball team had the potential to win at least 10 games this season. Not being able to close out close games prevented the Panthers from accomplishing that goal. Even though the Panthers finished the season with a 1-9 record in Mid-State Conference games and a 3-22 overall record, Brandt was happy with the way his team ended the season. "As the season went along, there were signs of improvement, but our consistency in play really hurt us," said Brandt.
Lydia Lutz and Isaac Overmyer won the 3,200-meter races in leading the Park Rapids track teams at Tuesday's Paul Bunyan Classic at Bemidji State University. Lutz won the 3,200 race in 11:38.51 to break the meet record as the Panthers finished fourth in the girls meet with 41.50 points while Overmyer won the 3,200 race in 10:39.38 as the Panthers placed 11th in the boys meet with 23 points. A total of 22 teams competed. The Panthers ended up placing in nine events in the girls meet, which was won by Grand Rapids with 134 points.
When Bill Dent took over as head coach of the Nevis girls basketball team, he expected the Tigers would have a winning record. The Tigers lived up to those expectations by going 9-5 in Northwoods Conference play and 18-10 overall. "I thought it was a really rewarding season," said Dent. "We were very competitive and made a lot of improvement. It was a really fun year." Nevis opened the season with conference wins over Cass Lake (85-66), Kelliher-Northome (65-53) and Blackduck (56-26).
Park Rapids' McKenna Brand helped the North American Hockey Academy Red Team win the Junior Women's Hockey League's Challenge Cup U17 Division title last month at Rockville, MD. Brand scored three goals and had an assist as NAHA went 6-0-1 to win the Challenge Cup title. Brand had a goal in a 5-1 win over Belle Tire, a goal in a 5-3 win over Rochester, a goal in a 2-2 tie with New Jersey and an assist in a 5-1 win over Orangeville. NAHA defeated Honeybaked 3-1 and St.