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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.
Despite finishing with a 4-8 record, Tucker Coborn, Kevin McMorrow, Paul Dirks, Jack Mercado and Cory Odland played well in the 12 Mid-State Conference baseball games. Their play earned those five Park Rapids players all-conference honors. Coborn and McMorrow earned all-conference honors while Dirks, Mercado and Odland were all-conference honorable mention selections. Coborn hit .605 (23 for 38) in the 12 conference games with nine runs, 13 RBI, four doubles, one triple and six stolen bases.
Last season, allowing 87 walks, 18 hit batters and 46 unearned runs led to a 7-14 record for the Park Rapids baseball team. This season, the Panthers once again gave the opposition easy runs as 70 walks, 19 hit batters and 54 unearned runs led to a 9-12 record. The Panthers could have had a winning record, but lost two games by one run, three games by two runs and two games by three runs. "I believe we fell a little below the expectations I had set for the season," said Park Rapids head coach Jeremy Anderson.
With four members back from last year's team that qualified for the Section 8AA tournament, Walt Harrison expected another successful season from the Park Rapids girls golf team this spring. The Panthers lived up to their coach's expectations by carding six rounds under 400 and having four golfers card career-best rounds. Leading the Panthers this season were the four returning section players: seniors Kirsten Erickson and Mary Kading, sophomore Katie Kristofferson and freshman Hannah Williams.
The Park Rapids American Legion baseball team improved to 5-1 after home wins over Bertha-Hewitt Monday and Walker Tuesday. Tucker Coborn threw a seven-hitter and struck out 11 and Dan Ricke drove in three runs in leading the Legion to a 13-2 five-inning victory over Bertha-Hewitt Monday night. Ricke followed with a seven-hitter and Coborn blasted a grand-slam home run in sparking the Legion to a 16-4 five-inning victory over Walker Tuesday night. Park Rapids, which was scheduled to play a doubleheader at Sebeka Friday night, will host Staples in a doubleheader this Friday night starting
Despite having to replace one of the best batteries in school history, the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team produced one of its best seasons in school history. Going into the season, the Panthers had to fill the spots of pitcher Cady Clinton and catcher Danielle Dent. Clinton graduated with 23 wins for the No. 3 spot and 151 strikeouts for the No. 5 spot in school history while Dent ranked second with 100 hits, third with 75 RBI and third by throwing out 17 runners attempting to steal. Seniors Leeza Tostenson and Brie Warne were counted on to fill those positions.
A runner-up finish in the Mid-State Conference standings gave the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team six spots on the all-conference roster. Seniors Leeza Tostenson, Brie Warne and Shelby Weckwerth were among 17 players earning all-conference honors. Senior Jenny Palm, junior Alyssa Carlson and sophomore Olivia Vaadeland received all-conference honorable mention honors. The Panthers finished with a 9-3 record in conference play to finish second behind Detroit Lakes' 11-1 mark.