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Considering having to unexpectedly replace two runners from last year’s state-qualifying team, returning to the state Class A meet was a huge accomplishment for the Park Rapids girls cross-country team this fall. Because of illnesses and injuries, junior Tayah Otterness and sophomore Madison Steffel were able to compete in only three meets apiece this fall. That left two key spots to fill. Fortunately, the Panthers had their other five returning runners healthy for most of the season.
Paige Myhre’s goal with 3:36 to play gave the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team a 3-2 Mid-State Conference win over Northern Lakes at Breezy Point Thursday night. After a scoreless first period, Myhre’s power-play goal gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Lexi Hinkley-Smith assisted on that goal at the 3:50 mark. Tayah Otterness followed with a goal at the 8:54 mark as the Panthers led 2-0.
Mariah Gardner’s two goals and two assists sparked Warroad to a 7-1 win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team Tuesday night at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena. Gardner’s two goals and assist gave Warroad a 4-0 lead after the first period.
Lauren Rossman had a mission to cap off her senior season by qualifying for the state Class A girls swimming meet in an individual event. Rossman, who had qualified for state three times in six relays, fulfilled that goal with a runner-up finish in the 50-yard freestyle at last Saturday’s Section 8A meet at Bemidji. Thanks to juniors Kayla Andersen, Alyza Edevold, Paige Fritze and Tea Nyland, Rossman also qualified for state in two relays as the Panthers sent five swimmers to state in five events.
Peaking entering the Section 8AAA playoffs was the main goal for the Park Rapids football team this season. After finishing the toughest part of the schedule with a 1-5 record, the Panthers regrouped to end the season on a high note.
Jessie O’Hern’s two goals and assist, Tara Johanning’s goal and three assists, and Brooke Jerger’s goal and two assists led the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team to a 6-1 win over Morris/Benson in the season opener Saturday afternoon at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena. Taylor Sagen and Lexi Hinkley-Smith scored early in the first period to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Finding a way to put the puck in the net will once again be the key to success for the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team. Last season, the Panthers scored 73 goals in going 13-13-1. However, almost half of those goals (36) were in four wins against Morris/Benson and Lake of the Woods, which will not have a varsity team this season. Without Lake of the Woods, Section 8A drops to five teams with the Panthers joining Thief River Falls, Warroad, East Grand Forks and Crookston.
Todd Fritze couldn’t have asked for a better start and finish to Saturday’s Section 8A girls swimming and diving meet at Bemidji. Junior Paige Fritze, junior Kayla Andersen, junior Tea Nyland and senior Lauren Rossman opened the finals by winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:52.79 to qualify for the state Class A meet.
Even though the Park Rapids girls tennis team didn’t fulfill its main goal, it was another successful season for the Panthers. The Panthers were looking to become the first Park Rapids girls tennis team to qualify for the state Class A tournament.
Heidi Olson’s 17 kills, five ace serves and 26 digs led Sebeka to a 25-22, 15-25, 25-22, 25-23 win over Nevis in a Section 5A semifinal volleyball match Thursday at Pierz. Hannah Bliss had 21 kills and Denia Brown had 20 kills for Nevis. Bliss served two aces and 12 points, Brown served three aces and 10 points and Jordyn Lucas served nine points for the Tigers. Bliss and Hannah Anderson had 21 set assists each.