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When Corey Hill took over as the head coach of the Park Rapids girls track and field team, his long-range goal was not only to build the Panthers into one of the elite teams in Section 8A, but one of the elite teams in the state. The Panthers are well on their way to accomplishing that goal. Park Rapids had another successful season by repeating as the Section 6A True Team champions, placing fourth at the state True Team meet, claiming runner-up honors at the Mid-State Conference meet, winning the Subsection 8-29A title for the sixth year in a row and repeating as the Section 8A champions.
Matt Clark continues making a name for himself in the national and international junior wrestling ranks. Over the last seven years, Clark has coached the Minnesota USA Greco-Roman and freestyle teams, leading the team to a national dual championship and coaching more than 70 All Americans and a dozen national champions during that time. This summer, Clark and Eric Wetzel from Chicago were chosen to coach the United States team at the Pan American Junior Championships, which was held July 2-4 at Sao Paulo, Brazil. In the past, Clark has coached international teams in tournaments in Guatem
Good pitching, solid defense and timely hitting comprise a winning formula at any level of baseball. The Park Rapids Storm Babe Ruth baseball team used that formula to qualify for the state tournament with an undefeated record. The Storm went 12-0 during the Timberline League season, went 4-0 to win the Timberline League tournament and went 3-0 to win the district title to qualify for the state tournament, which begins Thursday at Cold Spring, Richmond and Avon.
Going 1-3 at the Park Rapids tournament on July 9-10 ended the Park Rapids VFW baseball team's season with a 10-3 record. The VFW opened tournament play with an 11-2 loss to Perham and an 11-3 loss to Inver Grove Heights before ending tournament play with a 4-3 win over Inver Grove Heights and a 6-5 loss to Perham. In the first game against Perham, Park Rapids scored its only runs in the seventh inning on singles by David Dirks and Tanner Otterness. Kody Walsh had the only other hit for the VFW. Eight errors led to nine unearned runs in the VFW's 11-3 loss to Inver Grove Heights.
Peg Heeren, Janakaye Husby, Shelly Miller and Kim Rasmussen prevailed in a playoff to capture the First Flight title at last Tuesday's Ladies Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club. That foursome finished at -19 in the best 2 balls of 4 format. The foursome of Lori Daly, Deb Grant, Sue Middaugh and Berta Schmidt also finished at -19. Winning the Second Flight at -17 was the foursome of Carol Frisby, Bev Hepokoski, Suzanne Steele and Donette Swanson.
Patrick Deegan has seen steady improvement from the Park Rapids boys track and field team the last two seasons. In 2007, the Panthers finished fourth at the Mid-State Conference meet with 52 points, finished fifth at the Subsection 8-29A meet with 68 points and tied for 17th place at the Section 8A meet with 8 points. In 2008, the Panthers finished fourth at the conference meet with 62 points, fourth at the subsection meet with 85 points and 17th at the section meet with 14 points. In 2009, the Panthers finished fourth at the Mid-State meet with 55 points, fourth at the subsection meet w
Tom Stambaugh, Traci Schuch, Oliver Haugland and Elisa Johnson ran away with titles at the 33rd annual Firecracker Footrace last Monday. Stambaugh won the men's 10K race with a time of 35 minutes, 58.91 seconds while Schuch won the women's 10K title with a time of 44:54.67. In the 5K race, Haugland won the men's title in 17:45.48 while Johnson won the women's title in 20:37.22. Winning the various women's divisions in the 10K race were Lydia Lutz in the 18-under division (with a time of 46:03.52), Amy Haskins in the 19-29 division (in 52:15.91), Lori Grover in the 30-39 division (in 50:2
David Dirks blasted a home run and picked up the win as the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team posted its first victory of the season with a 9-5 win over Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale at Verndale on June 28. Singles by Dirks, Danny Pike, Kyle Goplerud and Chris Goplerud gave the Legion a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Singles by Paul Prenevost and Cory Odland led to two more runs in the second before walks to Pike, Kyle Goplerud and Chris Goplerud and singles by Kody Walsh and Odland led to three runs in the fifth. After Dirks' solo homer in the sixth, a single by Nick Belfiori and an RBI
Marion Goeden challenged this year's Park Rapids fastpitch softball team to leave a legacy for future teams to follow. That's exactly what the Panthers did. Despite having only two players returning to their starting positions and two other players who had started games, the Panthers made history by tying the school record for wins in a season and playing for the section title for only the fourth time in school history. The Panthers ended the season with a 19-7 record, tying the record for most wins in a season set by the 2003 team that went 19-4.
Alyssa Carlson, Anna Grimes, Ashley Domino, Bailee Jerger and Olivia Vaadeland were a main reason the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team set or tied school records for team batting average (.389), runs scored in a season (261) and wins in a season (19). It was no surprise that those five players capped off the season by earning post-season honors. Carlson, Grimes, Domino and Jerger were among the 24 players named to the Section 8AA team while those four joined Vaadeland on the Mid-State Conference team. The Panthers finished with a 19-7 overall record to tie the school record for wins i