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The Section 8A meet couldn't have turned out any better for the Park Rapids girls cross-country team and Isaac Overmyer. After finishing second to the Perham girls the last two years, the Panthers fulfilled a goal by edging the defending champs to capture their first section title since 1997. Senior Lydia Lutz led the way by winning her first section title while senior Shelby Pierce also earned an individual state berth by finishing ninth. Senior Summer Ellefson (13th), eighth grader Megan Olson (14th) and junior Lora Remus (18th) rounded out Park Rapids' team score of 47 points.
Nevis' Bryon Schuldt and Park Rapids' Isaac Overmyer entered Friday's Section 8A cross-country meet confident of qualifying for the state Class A meet. Both lived up to those expectations with impressive times at Twins Pines Golf Course in Bagley. Schuldt captured his third consecutive section title with a winning time of 16 minutes, 6 seconds while Overmyer earned his first state berth by finishing fifth by covering the 5,000-meter course in 16:48. Schuldt, who sat out the final two weeks of the regular season with a sore knee, showed no signs of being injured by running away from the f
Despite going in as the No. 6 seed, Aaron Morris believed the Park Rapids football team could compete with any team in the Section 8AAA playoffs. The Panthers proved that point in the section quarterfinals and semifinals. After opening the playoffs with a 13-10 win at No. 3 East Grand Forks, the Panthers battled No. 2-seeded Perham to a 7-7 tie at the half. The Yellowjackets were able to avoid the upset Saturday night as key plays by the defense and special teams led Perham to a 28-14 victory. "Our kids played hard and left everything on the field," said Morris.
Christina Smith played her best tennis of the season to qualify for her second trip to the state Class A girls tennis tournament. The Park Rapids sophomore was hoping to play well in her singles debut at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Despite not advancing to Friday's finals, Smith was competitive in her two state singles matches Thursday. Smith opened with a 6-1, 6-4 loss to Annandale junior Kaytlin Kuefler in Thursday morning's first round and followed with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0) loss to Stewartville junior Elizabeth Bardwell in Thursday afternoon's con
Perseverance paid off the for Park Rapids football team Tuesday night. Despite losing four fumbles and having a touchdown called back because of a penalty, the No.
Christina Smith continues to make tennis history. Last year, Smith became the first freshman in the history of the Park Rapids girls tennis program to qualify for the state Class A tournament in doubles. Following a runner-up finish at this year's Section 8A tournament, Smith became the first player in the history of the Park Rapids girls tennis program to qualify for state in both singles and doubles. "I thought my chances were pretty low (of qualifying for state)," said Smith.
Up to this point of the season, the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team has proven to have the best depth in Section 8A. On Thursday night, the Panthers competed against teams with the best depth in the state. The Panthers finished 12th with 995.50 points at this year's state Class A True Team meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Hutchinson won the state title with 2,073.50 points while Visitation was second with 2,004.50 points. Park Rapids finished ninth with 1,178.50 points last year. Seven of the state's top Class A teams competed at this meet.
Park Rapids received the No. 6 seed and will open the Section 8AA North volleyball tournament at No. 3 Roseau Thursday night at 7. The Panthers ended the regular season with a 6-16 record while Roseau finished at 14-11-2. Thursday night's winner faces either No. 2 Pequot Lakes (17-9) or No. 7 Crookston (6-17) Friday night at the higher seed. The other Section 8AA North quarterfinals Thursday night pit No. 1 Thief River Falls (22-2-1) against No. 8 Bagley (8-16) and No. 4 East Grand Forks (11-16) against No. 5 Warroad (11-15).
Both Park Rapids cross-country teams tuned up for the Section 8A meet with solid performances at Monday's Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Country Club. Lydia Lutz won the girls race by covering the 4,000-meter course in 14 minutes, 48 seconds to lead the Panthers to the team title with 61 points. Perham, which had its top runner (senior Cassie Beseman) sit out with an injury, was second in this 19-team meet with 62 points. Those two teams are expected to battle it out for the section title next Friday at Bagley. Park Rapids is rated No. 11 while Perham is rated No.
Park Rapids, Nevis and United North Central will all open the section football playoffs on the road. The Panthers, who ended the regular season with a 2-6 record, received the No. 5 seed in Section 8AAA and will open the playoffs Tuesday night at No. 4 East Grand Forks, which finished at 3-5. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. East Grand Forks defeated the Panthers 32-8 in Week 7. Section 8AAA is using the QRF system to seed teams. East Grand Forks was rated No. 43 out of the 64 Class AAA teams with a 31.3 rating while the Panthers were the No.