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The Park Rapids fastpitch softball team will have to take the long road in order to reach the Section 8AA championship game. Park Rapids, the No. 1 seed in the South with a 20-0 record, opened the section tournament with an 8-0 victory over No. 4 Hawley before tasting defeat for the first time this season with an 11-3 loss to No. 2 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Thursday at Frazee.
The Nevis baseball team closed out the regular season with a pair of losses. After defeating Menahga 9-5 on May 15, the Tigers ended Northland Conference play with a 13-7 loss to Blackduck on May 16 before closing the regular season with a 10-0 six-inning loss to Fosston at Bemidji Thursday. A five-run fifth inning sparked the Tigers past Menahga.
Lydia Kantonen, Jaiden McCollum and Jake Reish captured individual titles to provide the main highlights for the Park Rapids track and field teams at the Mid-State Conference meet at Staples on May 16. Kantonen won the 1,600-meter run in 5:36.40 and McCollum led the field in the shot put with a throw of 39 feet as the Panthers placed third in the girls meet with 62 points while Reish took first in the high jump by clearing the bar at 5 feet, 8 inches as Park Rapids finished fourth in the boys meet with 37.33 points.
Lydia Kantonen won the 3,200-meter run while Jaiden McCollum was the runner-up in the shot put as the Park Rapids girls track and field team placed eighth at Saturday's state Class A True Team meet at Stillwater. Kantonen clocked an 11:56.10 to lead the field in the 3,200 run while McCollum threw the shot put 37 feet, 10 inches to take second as the Panthers compiled 277.50 points in this nine-team meet. Osakis claimed the team title with 388.50 points while Luverne was second with 387 points.
The Menahga baseball team closed out the Park Region Conference schedule by splitting games against Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale and Wadena-Deer Creek. Menahga scored twice in the fifth inning and four times in the sixth to defeat BHV 6-0 on May 16 while Jake Dykhoff threw a one-hitter and struck out nine in leading Wadena-Deer Creek to a 10-0 win in six innings Thursday at Deer Creek. Nick Ackerman threw a five-hitter and struck out seven as Pine River-Backus defeated the Braves 8-0 in the regular-season finale Friday.
Mike Baumgartner was hoping the Park Rapids boys tennis team could close out the regular season with the first win of the season. That goal fell just short as the Panthers dropped two close matches. Park Rapids battled Crookston in a 4-3 loss at Crookston on May 16 before dropping a pair of duals in the regular-season finale Friday at the Depot Courts with a 6-1 loss to Fergus Falls and a 7-0 loss to Bemidji.
Park Rapids received the No. 1 seed in the South and a first-round bye for the Section AA fastpitch softball tournament. The tournament began Tuesday with No. 2 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (18-2) hosting No. 7 Frazee (4-16), No. 3 Barnesville (14-5) hosting No. 6 Pelican Rapids (5-14) and No. 4 Hawley (14-6) hosting No. 5 Breckenridge (6-14).
Several area runners competed in the full and half races at Saturday's Fargo Marathon. Four runners completed the 26.2-mile marathon. Justine Rittgers of Park Rapids (age 21) finished in 3:24:06 while Davin Torola of Park Rapids (age 39) crossed the finish line in 4:14:02. Menahga's Nicholas Jasmer (age 25) finished in 3:32:11 and Menahga's Ben Hendrickson (age 31) clocked a time of 4:06:38.
After three innings of Friday's game against Frazee, the Park Rapids baseball team appeared on the verge of extending a losing streak. That was before two walks and three straight singles with two outs sparked a five-run fourth inning that led the Panthers to a 9-6 win in this game between Section 8AA teams.
Park Rapids closed out the Northern Pines Conference golf season by sweeping titles at Castle Highlands Tuesday. Bjorn Jorgenson tied for third place with a 40 while 41s by Tate Usher and Jackson Leckner and a 43 by Luke Kosel gave Park Rapids a winning four-golfer score of 165 in the boys meet. Cody Dravis and Jacob Bittmann added 44s. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Laporte was second with a 167.