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Todd Fritze and the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team were determined to improve on last year's Section 3A meet. Last year, the Panthers finished last in the 13-team meet with 67 points and didn't qualify a swimmer for the state Class A meet for the first time since 1997. On Saturday at the University of Minnesota-Morris, the Panthers moved up to eighth place with 161 points and qualified five swimmers in four events for the state meet.
Park Rapids' Danny Pike and Brandon Ritter were counting on runner-up finishes at the Section 8A wrestling tournament at Glyndon to earn trips to state. Pike, who qualified for state as the section runner-up at 160 pounds last season, returned to state as a senior with a runner-up showing at 171 pounds Saturday while Ritter won a true-second match in the heavyweight bracket to earn his first state trip. As the No.
Jim Warmack and Nathan Carlson combined for 32 points in the paint in leading East Grand Forks to a 71-45 victory over the Park Rapids boys basketball team Tuesday night at the Area High School gym. Warmack, a 6-foot-6 freshman center, and Carlson, a 6-5 senior forward, combined for 22 points as the Green Wave jumped out to a 35-21 lead at the half. Four inside baskets by Warmack and a pair of baskets by Carlson gave EGF a 24-10 lead with 7:40 to play in the first half.
Park Rapids and United North Central were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Section 8A wrestling tournament at Thief River Falls last Saturday. Park Rapids, the No. 5 seed, forfeited at three weights in a 43-36 loss to No. 4 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton while UNC, the No. 6 seed, lost to No. 3 Crookston 52-16. No. 1 Frazee defeated DGF 69-6 while No. 2 Badger/Greenbush-Middle River eliminated Crookston 45-22 in the semifinals.
Park Rapids travels to Frazee while Menahga and Nevis will host first-round games as the section girls basketball tournaments begin Monday night. Park Rapids received the No. 9 seed in the south half of Section 8AA and will play at No. 8 Frazee Monday night at 7. Frazee defeated the Panthers 53-44 in their regular-season meeting. The winner of that game plays at No. 1 Pequot Lakes Thursday night at 7. In the Section 5A West tournament, No. 8 Menahga will host No. 9 Verndale and No. 7 Nevis will host No.
Katie Skersick and Kari Skersick combined for 36 points in leading Bagley to a 73-40 victory over the Park Rapids girls basketball team Thursday night at Bagley. The Skersicks scored 10 points each while Jasmin Nelson scored all of her 15 points in the first half as Bagley jumped out to a 35-20 lead.
One of the best goalies in the state shut out the Park Rapids-Menahga-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team for the first time this season in the regular-season finale Friday night. Alex Lyon made 21 saves in leading Lake of the Woods to a 4-0 Section 8A victory. It was the sixth shutout of the season for Lyon, who has a 1.48 goals against average and leads the state with a .948 save percentage. Lyon received all the offensive support he needed when the Bears scored twice in the first period.
An upper respiratory infection prevented Park Rapids' Summer Ellefson from competing in the state Nordic girls ski meet Thursday at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Ellefson, who qualified for her fifth consecutive state meet by winning the Section 8 title at Camp Ripley on Feb. 9, attempted to compete Thursday morning, but withdrew from the 5K freestyle race. Burnsville senior Sharmila Ahmed won the state title with a pursuit time of 32 minutes, 1 second. Wayzata freshman Alayna Sonnesyn was second in 32:30.8 while Hopkins sophomore Sarah Benton finished third in 32:32.2.
Christian Ridlon and Scott Wolff helped the Park Rapids boys basketball team battle Wadena-Deer Creek to a 26-26 tie at the half Friday night. An 11-2 run to open the second half gave W-DC the lead for good as the Wolverines went on for a 61-45 Mid-State Conference victory at the Area High School gym. A layup by Chris Goplerud, a jumper and layup off a steal by Kyle Goplerud, and a layup by Ridlon gave the Panthers an 8-1 lead with 14:22 to play in the first half. Another layup by Ridlon kept Park Rapids in front 10-4 at the 12:52 mark before the Panthers went scoreless for the next 6:21
Perham won its ninth straight title, Detroit Lakes finished second for the ninth year in a row and Park Rapids placed sixth at Saturday's Section 8A gymnastics meet at Detroit Lakes. Perham, the top-ranked Class A team in the state and the state champion the last seven years, compiled 148.688 points to defeat Detroit Lakes' 144.50 for the section title. Park Rapids finished with a 109.125 to place sixth in this seven-team meet. Emily Klingenberg had the Panthers' top finish by placing 13th in vault with an 8.30.