Marcus Benson took down two more records during Park Rapids’ 100-68 boys swimming and diving victory over Thief River Falls at the Area High School pool on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Benson clocked a 1:48.31 in the 200-yard freestyle to break the pool record of 1:49.36 set by Detroit Lakes’ Henrik Bewarder in 2006 and the school record of 1:49.35 set by Matt Benson in 2016. Benson also won the 100 butterfly in 54.97 to take over the No. 2 spot in school history behind Jonah Winter’s 2004 record of 53.04 and led off the 400 freestyle relay with a 49.37 to move into the No. 2 spot in school history in the 100 freestyle behind Matt Benson’s school record of 49.07 set in 2018. The Park Rapids senior also holds school records in the 200 individual medley (1:58.25) and 100 backstroke (57.52) and as a member of the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams.

In addition to Benson’s two winning times, the Panthers turned in six other first-place efforts to improve to 3-3 in dual meets this season.

Cameron Runyan, Nicholas Graham, Elliott Nichols and Guiseppi Jenkins led off the meet by winning the 200 medley relay in 2:06.99 while Isaac Zinniel, Jacob Zinniel, Dominik Backmann and Jordan Odor followed in 2:10.07.

Isaac Zinniel took first in the 200 individual medley in 2:32.46 while Runyan was the runner-up in the 50 freestyle in 26.12 and finished first as the only diver as the Panthers led 42-23.

Malachi Martin followed Benson’s winning time in the 100 butterfly with a runner-up 1:31.55 before Nichols (in 56.02) and Odor (in 56.40) went 1-2 in the 100 freestyle. Jacob Zinniel clocked a 6:22.71 and Graham followed in 6:59.72 for a 1-2 showing in the 500 freestyle as Park Rapids extended its lead to 72-37.

Benson, Matthew Lichter, Isaac Zinniel and Backmann took second in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:51.49 before Odor’s 1:03.91 and Jenkins’ 1:23.29 produced a 1-2 finish in the 100 backstroke for an 86-50 advantage. Isaac Zinniel’s runner-up 1:19.61 in the 100 breaststroke and a runner-up 4:19.10 by Benson, Backmann, Jenkins and Odor in the 400 freestyle relay capped off the meet.

Park Rapids 100, Thief River Falls 68
200 medley relay: 1, Park Rapids (Runyan, Graham, Nichols, Jenkins), 2:06.99. 2, Park Rapids (I. Zinniel, J. Zinniel, Backmann, Odor), 2;10.07. 3, Thief River Falls, 2:21.27. 4, Park Rapids (Lichter, David, Smee, Hoyt), 3:01.66.
200 freestyle: 1, Benson, PR, 1:48.31. 2, N. Smith, TRF, 2:13.59. 3, Martin, PR, 2:29.71. 4, Fisher, TRF, 2:38.05. 5, Philipp, TRF, 2:54.34.
200 individual medley: 1, I. Zinniel, PR, 2:32.46. 2, G. Smith, TRF, 2:55.78. 3, Backmann, PR, 3:11.44.
50 freestyle: 1, Vettleson, TRF, 25.68. 2, Runyan, PR, 26.12. 3, Casavan, TRF, 27.01. 4, J. Zinniel, PR, 27.06. 5, Koppenhaver, TRF, 27.09. JV: Lichter, PR, 33.17; Hoyt, PR, 40.61.
Diving: 1, Runyan, PR.
100 butterfly: 1, Benson, PR, 54.97. 2, Martin, PR, 1:31.55. 3, Berry, TRF, 1:36.56.
100 freestyle: 1, Nichols, PR, 56.02. 2, Odor, PR, 56.40. 3, N. Smith, TRF, 57.64. 4, Koppenhaver, TRF, 1:03.16. 5, G. Smith, TRF, 1:08.62. JV: Smee, PR, 1:17.83.
500 freestyle: 1, J. Zinniel, PR, 6:22.71. 2, Graham, PR, 6:59.72. 3, Fisher, TRF, 7:05.58. 4, Berry, TRF, 7:49.79.
200 freestyle relay: 1, Thief River Falls, 1:45.56. 2, Park Rapids (Benson, Lichter, I. Zinniel, Backmann), 1:51.49. 3, Park Rapids (Runyan, Jenkins, Graham, Nichols), 1:55.19. 5, Park Rapids (Martin, David, Smee, Hoyt), 2:23.00.
100 backstroke: 1, Odor, PR, 1:03.91. 2, Jenkins, PR, 1:23.29. 3, Carlson, TRF, 1:37.16. 4, Martinsen, TRF, 1:37.37.
100 breaststroke: 1, Casavan, TRF, 1:18.92. 2, I. Zinniel, PR, 1:19.61. 3, Philipp, TRF, 1:41.98. 4, David, PR, 1:44.54.
400 freestyle relay: 1, Thief River Falls, 4:13.06. 2, Park Rapids (Benson, Backmann, Jenkins, Odor), 4:19.10. 3, Park Rapids (Nichols, Graham, Martin, J. Zinniel), 4:26.58. 5, Park Rapids (Lichter, Smee, Hoyt, David), 5:38.67.

Panthers compete in True Team meet

Benson provided the main highlight by winning the 100 backstroke as the Panthers placed fifth out of six teams at the Section 5A True Team meet at Morris on Monday, Jan. 20.

Benson clocked a 54.39 in that event for the Panthers’ only winning effort in this meet that was postponed because of the weather on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Sartell-St. Stephen won the team title with 1,117 points while Alexandria was second with 959 points. Melrose/Sauk Centre (901.50) and Fergus Falls (597.50) followed with the Panthers compiling 392 points to finish ahead of Morris Area’s 250.

Benson also added a third-place time of 1:53.08 in the 200 freestyle and led off the 200 medley relay team that placed fifth in 1:54.07. Jacob Zinniel, Nichols and Runyan completed that relay unit. Nichols finished fifth in the 100 butterfly in 1:03.04 while joining Benson, Isaac Zinniel and Odor on the 200 freestyle relay team that placed sixth in 1:39.89.

Turning in the other top finishes for the Panthers were Odor in the 200 individual medley (seventh in 2:26.69) and 500 freestyle (11th in 5:55.71), Runyan in diving (ninth with 227.30 points), Jacob Zinniel in the 100 breaststroke (12th in 1:20.27) and Nichols in the 50 freestyle (13th in 25.25). Odor, Isaac Zinniel, Jacob Zinniel and Runyan placed 10th in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:04.51.

The Panthers scored 58 points in the 200 medley relay, 35 points in the 200 freestyle, 32 points in the 200 individual medley, 17 points in the 50 freestyle, 16 points in diving, 20 points in the 100 butterfly, 13 points in the 100 freestyle, 22 points in the 500 freestyle, 50 points in the 200 freestyle relay, 49 points in the 100 backstroke, 24 points in the 100 breaststroke and 56 points in the 400 freestyle relay. In the True Team format, every swimmer and diver scores points.

Team scores: Sartell-St. Stephen 1,117, Alexandria 959, Melrose/Sauk Centre 901.50, Fergus Falls 597.50, Park Rapids 392, Morris Area 250.
Individual results
200 medley relay: 1, Alexandria, 1:44.20. 2, Sartell, :45.80. 3, Alexandria, 1:51.12. 5, Park Rapids (Benson, J. Zinniel, Nichols, Runyan), 1:54.07. 16, Park Rapids (Martin, Graham, Jenkins, Backmann), 2:29.84.
200 freestyle: 1, Ca. Larson, SSS, 1:49.12. 2, Co. Larson, SSS, 1:49.77. 3, Benson, PR, 1:53.08. 18, Martin, PR, 2:33.71. 19, Graham, PR, 2:36.82.
200 individual medley: 1, G. Larson, SSS, 2:12.46. 2, Olson-Rodel, A, 2:13.53. 3, Williams, A, 2;13.59. 7, Odor, PR, 2:26.69. 11, I. Zinniel, PR, 2:31.36.
50 freestyle: 1, Wlle, A, 22.38. 2, Maras, SSS, 22.93. 3, Bjork, SSS, 23.37. 13, Nichols, PR, 25.25. 22, Lichter, PR, 33.74. 23, Smee, PR, 35.10.
Diving: 1, Binsfeld, SSS, 314.00 points. 2, Kavanagh, A, 306.20. 3, Braun, MSC, 280.85. 9, Runyan, PR, 227.30.
100 butterfly: 1, Dauer, A, 56.74. 2, Co. Larson, SSS, 58.03. 3, Molesworth, A, 1:00.14. 5, Nichols, PR, 1:03.04.
100 freestyle: 1, Maras, SSS, 49.25. 2, Welle, A, 49.32. 3, Edman, FF, 53.03. 15, I. Zinniel, PR, 1:01.29. 22, Jenkins, PR, 1:10.59.
500 freestyle: 1, Ca. Larson, SSS, 5;09.22. 2, Holm, A, 5:12.84. 3, Hoyt, A, 5:14.81. 11, Odor, PR, 5:55.71. 17, Backmann, PR, 6:59.10.
200 freestyle relay: 1, Sartell, 1:31.36. 2, Alexandria, 1:32.50. 3, Sartell, 1:36.38. 6, Park Rapids (Benson, I. Zinniel, Nichols, Odor), 1:39.89. 19, Park Rapids (Lichter, Backmann, Jenkins, Martin), 2:07.84.
100 backstroke: 1, Benson, PR, 54.39. 2, Williams, A, 58.42. 3, Bjork, SSS, 59.10. 8, Runyan, PR, 1:07.43. 17, David, PR, 1:31.54.
100 breaststroke: 1, Zhang, SSS, 1:04.96. 2, Tung, A, 1:05.51. 3, Molesworth, A, 1:06.48. 12, J. Zinniel, PR, 1:20.27. 19, Graham, PR, 1:33.60. 20, Smee, PR, 1:50.36.
400 freestyle relay: 1, Sartell, 3:22.57. 2, Alexandria, 3:27.27. 3, Sartell, 3:30.97. 10, Park Rapids (Odor, I. Zinniel, J. Zinniel, Runyan), 4:04.51. 16, Park Rapids (Backmann, Jenkins, Graham, Martin), 4:42.69. 21, Park Rapids (Hoyt, Smee, David, Lichter), 5:45.99.