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Park Rapids had five players receive Mid-State Conference fastpitch softball honors this spring. Seniors Lexi Burlingame, Erika Jerger and Olivia Vaadeland received all-conference honors while sophomores Shania Johnson and Lauren Naeve received all-conference honorable mention honors. Those five starters helped the Panthers finish third in the Mid-State standings with a 7-5 record. Vaadeland played in all 12 conference games and batted .371 (13 for 35) with a double, a home run, seven runs and 10 RBI. Vaadeland also was the starting pitcher in 11 games, going 6-5 with a 5.71 ERA.
It's become a tradition that the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team will produce a winning record. The Panthers continued that tradition this season. Even though the Panthers didn't meet their goals of winning the Mid-State Conference title and returning to the Section 8AA championship game, they did compile a 12-9 overall record.
Katie Kristofferson capped off her senior season with two solid rounds at the state Class AA girls golf tournament. The Park Rapids senior followed an 87 Tuesday with a 91 Wednesday at Jordan's The Ridges at Sand Creek course to finish in a tie for 38th place with a 178. Kristofferson made her state debut with rounds of 41 and 46 for an 87 on Tuesday to share 33rd place out of 88 golfers. Detroit Lakes eighth grader Kate Smith carded a 2-under par 70 for a five-shot lead over Minnewaska senior Brianna Janu, who shot a 75.
A sizzling round on the front side Sunday sparked Troy Johnson and Tim Hamm to the title in the annual 2-Man Best Ball/Scramble Tournament at Headwaters Country Club. Johnson and Hamm used a 10-under par 26 on the first nine holes of Sunday's scramble play to card a 58 for a two-day total of 127. Clint Cornell and Matt Schneider finished second with a 128. The eventual winners faced a four-stroke deficit after finishing Saturday's 18 holes of best ball play with a 69. Mike Cleland and Andy Cleland shot a 31 on the back side with three birdies and an eagle on No.
Midway continued to dominate Lake and Pine League amateur baseball play by scoring 60 runs in three victories last weekend. The Snurdbirds belted out 27 hits in a 31-9 victory at Nevis and followed with 14 hits in a 15-2 win over Leech Lake at Walker last Saturday. Midway had 14 hits in a 14-0 win at Wolf Lake Sunday. All three games ended after seven innings via the 10-run rule. Those three wins lifted Midway to 3-0 in the North Division and 5-0 overall in league play. Earlier in the season, the Snurdbirds defeated Huntersville 12-7 and Red Eye 28-0.
Nevis' Bryon Schuldt capped off his senior season by winning his fifth consecutive state medal in the 3,200-meter run. Schuldt finished third in that race during Friday's state Class A track and field meet at Hamline University with a time of 9:29.11. Foley junior Charlie Lawrence was first in 9:22.92 and Proctor junior Matt Welch was second in 9:23.44. Schuldt also competed in the 1,600 run, finishing 11th in 4:30.88 during Saturday's finals.
Park Rapids' Forrest Drury and Isaac Overmyer fulfilled their goals by earning medals while Austin Carlson gained valuable experience at the state Class A track and field meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. Drury tied for sixth place in the pole vault, Overmyer finished ninth in the 3,200-meter run, and Carlson finished 13th in the 400 dash and 20th in the 200 dash on Friday. Those efforts gave the Panthers 3.50 points for 57th place in the team standings.
After qualifying 10 individuals in nine events, Corey Hill thought the Park Rapids girls track and field team had a chance to win the state Class A title. The Panthers managed to score points in five events and ended up tying for 13th place with 21 points. That was Park Rapids' best showing at state since placing ninth with 24 points in 1998. Senior Lydia Lutz finished fourth in the 3,200-meter run during Friday's finals at Hamline University in St. Paul while the Panthers placed in four events during Saturday's finals.
Katie Kristofferson always believed she had the ability to qualify for the state Class AA girls golf tournament. The Park Rapids senior accomplished her goal in her final attempt Monday at Longbow Golf Course near Walker. Kristofferson, who qualified for her fourth section meet by carding a season-best 81 during the subsection tournament, claimed the final state berth by winning a sudden-death playoff after carding a 91. Kristofferson went from having tears of sorrow to tears of joy in earning her first state berth. After being the last group on the course, Kristofferson thought she wa
Both the Park Rapids girls and boys track and field teams had high expectations entering last Saturday's Section 8A meet at East Grand Forks. The Panthers entered the section meet with 13 athletes favored to qualify for state in 12 events.