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When Corey Hill became the head coach of the Park Rapids girls track and field team in 2004, his long-range goal was to build the Panthers into one of the premier teams in the state. That goal was accomplished this spring. During the first six meets, the Panthers won four titles and finished second the other two times. Park Rapids then won the Section 6A True Team title and finished fifth at the state Class A True Team meet. The Panthers followed a runner-up finish at the Mid-State Conference meet by winning the Subsection 8-29A title for the fifth year in a row.
A runner-up finish in the District 2 tournament sent the Park Rapids Babe Ruth baseball team to the state intact tournament. Park Rapids advanced to the district championship game by defeating Vergas 10-3 and Bagley 9-6 Wednesday and Staples 9-7 in 10 innings Thursday at New York Mills. The Park Rapids 13- to 15-year-olds settled for second place with an 11-7 loss to New York Mills Friday. The double-elimination state tournament begins Thursday at Fergus Falls. Park Rapids plays Fergus Falls at 10 a.m. at the American Legion field.
Midway advanced to the Lake and Pine League North Division championship game with a pair of amateur baseball victories last weekend. The Snurdbirds defeated Blackduck 12-2 in seven innings last Saturday in the opening round before defeating Huntersville 7-0 Sunday at Midway. Zach Etter threw a five-hitter and struck out 13 to lead Midway past Blackduck. Midway scored three times in the first, second and seventh innings to win via the 10-run rule. In addition to his compelte-game victory, Etter went 2 for 4 at the plate with a home run, three runs scored and two RBI.
The Park Rapids Babe Ruth 13- to 15-year-old baseball team took the scenic route to qualify for the district tournament. Park Rapids entered the Timberline East double-elimination tournament as the No. 3 seed with a 10-10 record during the regular season. After defeating No. 6 Sebeka 14-8 in the first round last Tuesday, Park Rapids was thrown into the losers' bracket with a 4-0 loss to the Park Rapids Storm, the No. 2 seed. Park Rapids stayed alive with a 6-5 win over No.
The Park Rapids 16-under JO fastpitch softball team ended the season on a positive note by sweeping a Northern Lights League doubleheader from Pine River-Backus Wednesday night. Park Rapids won the first game 4-3 and followed with a 10-6 win in the second game to end the season with a 2-10 record. In the first game, Park Rapids trailed 3-0 after four innings before rallying for the win. Olivia Vaadeland led off the fifth with a single and scored on a double by Katelyn Hilmanowski and a single by Brittany Kinkel. Park Rapids scored three times in the sixth to complete the comeback.
After closing out the regular season with a pair of wins, the Park Rapids American Legion baseball team saw its season come to an end with a pair of losses in the subdistrict tournament. The Legion defeated Bertha-Hewitt 4-1 on July 5 and Walker 13-5 on July 6 to end the regular season with a 9-3 record. That gave Park Rapids the No. 1 seed for the subdistrict tournament. Park Rapids opened the double-elimination subdistrict tournament at Menahga with an 8-3 loss to No. 5 Bertha-Hewitt Monday night. The Legion stayed alive with an 8-1 win over No.
With only six athletes returning who scored points last season, Patrick Deegan didn't know what to expect from the Park Rapids boys track and field team this spring. Having those six plus 14 other athletes score points this season helped the Panthers exceed the expectations of their head coach. "I thought the season went very well," said Deegan. "We overachieved in a lot of events.
Kenny Miller, Shannon Haut, Oliver Haugland and Clare Kazmierczak captured titles to highlight a record turnout for last Sunday's 32nd annual Firecracker Footrace. Miller was the men's 10K champion with a time of 40 minutes, 36 seconds while Haut won the women's 10K title with a winning time of 42:16. In the 5K races, Haugland finished the course in 17:00 to win the men's title while Kazmierczak won the women's title with a time of 18:50. The men's and women's age division winners in the 10K race were: 18-under - Cal Lawton (42:00) and Laura Lawton (44:41); 19-29 - Brad McConn (41:38) a
The Park Rapids American Legion baseball team split a pair of doubleheaders to improve to 7-3 on the season. The Legion followed a 4-3 loss in the first game to Sebeka on June 25 with a 20-3 victory in the second game. On Friday night, the Legion rebounded from a 12-4 loss to Staples with a 3-2 victory in the second game of this home doubleheader. Park Rapids concluded the regular season with a game at Bertha-Hewitt Monday and a game at Walker Tuesday.
With the return of six varsity players, Jeff Renner thought the Park Rapids boys tennis team had the nucleus to put a competitive team on the courts. Renner had to rely on seven first-year varsity players to fill out the varsity lineup. That lack of experience, coupled with a tough schedule, prevented the Panthers from fulfilling their main goals this season. The Panthers returned six starters in seniors Steve Smith, Max Brown, Kyle Dickinson and James Kujawa; junior Alex Renner; and sophomore Scott Smith. A year ago, Renner went 12-5 at No.