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The Park Rapids Clay Dusters extended their lead in the 1A Conference 8 standings after Week 3 of the Minnesota State High School Fall Clay Target League. Park Rapids scored 1,390.50 points to finish behind Princeton's 1,405.50 points in Week 3. Duluth East was third with 1,351 points while St. Francis finished fourth with 1,071.50 points.
Katelyn Weaver dominated at the service line as the Park Rapids volleyball team closed out its final regular-season home match with a 3-0 Section 8AA victory over East Grand Forks Tuesday night at the Area High School gym. Weaver put 32 of 34 serves in play with 14 aces and 29 points to spark the Panthers' 25-14, 25-10, 25-13 win. The Panthers went 67 for 74 in serves with 20 aces while adding 46 kills to improve to 10-0 against section opponents this season.
Kamree Carlson tallied 15 service points, 13 kills and 12 digs while Kaisa Coborn had 14 kills in powering the Park Rapids volleyball team to a 3-0 Section 8AA victory at Thief River Falls Thursday night. Rilee Michaelson added eight kills as the Panthers finished with 42 kills with 11 hitting errors in the 25-11, 25-10, 25-22 victory. Katelyn Weaver set up 30 kills and joined Carlson with three ace serves. Park Rapids put 64 of 72 serves in play with 11 aces. Coborn and Michaelson served two aces each.
The annual Park Rapids Invitational cross-country meet scheduled for Monday (Oct. 15) at Headwaters Golf Course has been canceled and won't be rescheduled. There were 24 teams and more than 450 runners expected to compete in this final regular-season meet. The Panthers will prepare for the Section 8A meet at Bagley on Friday, Oct. 26. The girls race will start at 4 p.m. followed by the boys race. Nevis and United North Central are also among the 22 teams scheduled to compete at Twins Pines Golf Course to earn trips to the state Class A meet.
Maggie Dietrich proved to be the key factor as East Grand Forks qualified for the state Class A girls tennis tournament for the first time in school history while denying Park Rapids that same accomplishment. Dietrich wasn't in the lineup in EGF's 5-2 loss to the Panthers during the regular season. Even though Dietrich lost in her No. 2 singles match, having the freshman back in the lineup enabled the Green Wave to put a stronger group on the court and prevail 5-2 in a hard-fought battle in Friday's Section 8A championship match.
Park Rapids will send a singles player and a doubles team to the state Class A girls tennis tournament. Senior Natalie Kinkel captured the Section 8A singles title while senior Kendra Coborn and freshman Abby Morris won the Section 8A doubles title during Saturday's finals at Courts Plus in Fargo.
Despite suffering a fifth loss in a row, Jeremy Nordick believes that no opponent wants to face the Park Rapids football team in the Section 8AAA playoffs. Park Rapids' defense played another solid game in a losing effort Friday night as a fourth-quarter touchdown gave Fergus Falls a 13-12 victory. That was the third close loss for the Panthers this season. The other two were against section rivals East Grand Forks (13-12 in Week 3) and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (14-12 in Week 5). Park Rapids also gave section foe Pequot Lakes a battle in a 32-20 loss in Week 6.
Duluth East had the top team score in Week 2, but the Park Rapids Clay Dusters remained in first play in the overall 1A Conference 8 standings of the Minnesota State High School Fall Clay Target League. Duluth East earned 1,529.50 points in Week 2 to top Park Rapids' runner-up total of 1,492.50 points. St. Francis was third with 1,112.50 points and Princeton was fourth in the nine-team conference with 1,094.50 points.
Going into Tuesday night's match against Perham, head coach Stephanie Hanson said the Park Rapids volleyball team had to be consistent to prevail in this battle of Section 8AA teams. "All the section teams are competitive," said Hanson before that match. "We're going to have to play well to beat them." The Panthers did play well when it counted to remain undefeated against section foes following a 25-17, 13-25, 25-21, 25-22 victory at the Area High School gym.
Julia Harmon finished 14th overall to earn top honors for the Park Rapids cross-country teams at Tuesday's Mid-State Conference meet at The Vintage Golf Course at Staples. Harmon covered the 5K course in 22:03 to receive all-conference honorable mention honors. Holly Johnson justed miss Mid-State honors by placing 16th in 22:42. The top 10 runners received all-conference honors while the next five received honorable mention honors. Whitney Steffel placed 30th in 24:22 and Mikaela Nelson finished 31st in 24:30 as Park Rapids fielded an incomplete team in the girls race.