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Jack Christenson, Adam Jacobi, Seth Breitweser and Jake Reish teamed up to provide the main highlight in the season opener for the Park Rapids boys and girls track and field teams Tuesday. Those four clocked a winning time of 9:19.94 in the 4 x 800-meter relay to lead Panthers at the Little Amik Invitational at Bemidji State University. That winning effort helped Park Rapids finish eighth in the boys team standings with 24 points. Christenson also took fourth in the 400 dash in 55.51 as the Panthers placed in six events. The top-eight finishers in each event scored points.
An improved offense helped the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team fulfill the main goal of the season. The Panthers scored 71 goals this season, which was 20 more than a year ago. That led to Park Rapids earning the No. 4 seed and a home game for the Section 8A playoffs. Park Rapids took advantage of home ice with a 6-0 win over No. 5 Detroit Lakes in a section quarterfinal game before falling to No. 1 Warroad 12-0 in the semifinals to end the season with a 9-16-1 overall record.
Park Rapids' Brielle Krabbenhoft turned in her best all-around performance of the season at Sunday's United States of America Gymnastics (USAG) Minnesota State Championships at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Krabbenhoft, a sixth grader, received scores of 9.075 in vault, 8.875 on balance beam, 8.85 in floor exercise and 8.45 on uneven parallel bars for a 35.25 all-around score against Level 7 competition.
Nevis played two strong first halves in its second appearance at the state Class A boys basketball tournament. The second halves didn't go as well. Springfield overcame a 31-22 halftime deficit to defeat Nevis 73-65 in Thursday afternoon's quarterfinal game at Williams Arena while Red Lake rallied from a 25-20 halftime deficit to defeat the Tigers 52-43 in Friday morning's consolation semifinals at Concordia-St. Paul.
Getting off to slow starts hurt the Park Rapids boys basketball team all season. Poor shooting was the main reason the Panthers trailed at halftime in 19 games while facing at least a 20-point deficit at the break 12 times and at least a double-digit lead in four other games. Those early deficits resulted in an 0-8 record in Mid-State Conference games, a 3-10 record against Section 8AA opponents and a 4-23 overall record.
Park Rapids' Sam Coborn concluded his collegiate career for the Concordia College men's hockey team by scoring four goals on 19 shots in 26 games. Coborn, a senior forward, scored a goal in Concordia's 3-2 win over Wisconsin-Superior on Jan. 6, a goal in a 4-0 win over Gustavus Adolphus on Jan. 27, a goal in a 5-3 loss to St. Olaf on Feb. 11 and a goal in a 6-2 victory over Bethel on Feb. 17.
Park Rapids' Ben Baumgartner compiled a 10-10 record at 149 pounds in five tournaments for the Concordia College wrestling team this season. Baumgartner, a sophomore, finished fifth by going 4-2 at the Pointer Open at Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Nov. 5 with a 15-6 major decision over Nathan Arquinego of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a loss by fall in 2:44 to Zander Wick of Wisconsin-Madison, a 3-2 minor decision over Joey Seitz of Stevens Point, a 5-4 minor decision over Adam Becker of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a 4-2 loss to teammate Ty Johnson and an 11-9 minor decision over Arquinego.
Park Rapids' Megan Olson competed in five indoor meets for the University of North Dakota women's track team. Olson, a freshman, made her NCAA Division I indoor debut at the Bison Classic at North Dakota State University on Jan. 14 by placing 12th in the 600-meter run with a 1:48.81 and running on a 4 x 400 relay team that finished 10th in 4:19.77. At the Jim Emmerich Invitational at Brookings, South Dakota, on Jan. 21, Olson clocked a 2:36.18 to finish 28th in the 800 run.
Despite finishing the season with a 6-18-2 overall record, Pete Naugle was pleased with the effort of the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team in his first season as head coach. Adjusting to a new coach's system, losing four games by one goal (including two in overtime) and settling for two ties prevented the Panthers from producing their desired goal of a .500 record.
For the second game in a row, the Nevis boys basketball team entered halftime at the state Class A tournament with the lead. But once again the Tigers couldn't maintain the advantage as Red Lake used an 8-0 run to start the second half to spark a 52-43 victory in the consolation semifinals at Concordia-St. Paul. Nevis opened the tournament by building a 31-22 halftime lead in Thursday's quarterfinals before Springfield started the second half with a 10-0 run to spark a 73-65 victory.