Panthers dominate, repeat as Mid-State champs

Another dominating performance in the pool led the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team to another Mid-State Conference title at Detroit Lakes on Feb. 8.

Isaac Zinniel swam the backstroke leg on Park Rapids' third-place 200-yard medley relay team during the Mid-State Conference meet on Feb. 8. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Another dominating performance in the pool led the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team to another Mid-State Conference title at Detroit Lakes on Feb. 8.

The Panthers set two conference records and finished first in six other events in compiling 489 points in coasting to the title for the fourth year in a row. Detroit Lakes was a distant second with 274 points while Perham/New York Mills finished third with 264 points.

Spencer Fritze and Marcus Benson both set conference records and placed first in four events in leading the Panthers. Fritze won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.57 and Benson won the 100 backstroke in 55.60 to set new conference marks.

Fritze opened the meet by compiling 427.40 points to take first in diving while Seth Breitweser followed with a runner-up 362.25 points. Cameron Runyan took third with 292.35 points as the Panthers scored 41 points in that event.

Benson, Spencer Fritze, Zach Fritze and Breitweser opened the swimming events by winning the 200 medley relay in 1:45.71 while Runyan, Ethan Hemenway, Isaac Zinniel and Jordan Odor took third in 2:06.36 to give Park Rapids 56 points.


Elliott Nichols' runner-up 2:12.25 and Jake Zinniel's third-place 2:19.67 helped the Panthers score 45 points in the 200 freestyle before Benson's winning time of 2:09.83 and Odor's third-place time of 2:26.37 provided 38 points in the 200 individual medley.

Zach Fritze followed Spencer Fritze's winning time in the 50 freestyle with a runner-up 23.96 as Park Rapids scored 36 points in that event. A 1-2 showing by Zach Fritze (in 1:01.05) and Nichols (in 1:04.72) gave the Panthers 29 points in the 100 butterfly.

After Park Rapids added 32 points in the 100 freestyle behind a 2-3 showing by Jake Zinniel in 1:02.09 and Hemenway in 1:04.36, Odor and Dominik Backmann went 2-3 in the 500 freestyle for 25 more points. Odor clocked a 5:54.70 and Backmann followed in 6:32.10.

Spencer Fritze, Benson, Breitweser and Zach Fritze took first in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:33.66 as the Panthers scored 54 points in that relay before Benson's record time in the 100 backstroke and Runyan's third-place time of 1:10.00 helped Park Rapids score 44 points in that event.

Breitweser won the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.91 and Hemenway took third in 1:17.26 to give the Panthers 39 points before a 2-3 showing in the 400 freestyle relay accounted for the final 50 points. Nichols, Jake Zinniel, Backmann and Odor finished second in 4:06.08 while Runyan, Isaac Zinniel, Nicholas Graham and Hemenway took third in 4:40.36.

Park Rapids compiled 713 points to win the title last season, scored 507 points to capture the title in 2017 and tallied 527 points to claim the title in 2016.

The Panthers will now prepare for the Section 5A meet Feb. 22-23 at Sartell.

Team totals: Park Rapids 489, Detroit Lakes 274, Perham/New York Mills 264.


Individual results

Diving: 1, S. Fritze, PR, 427.40 points. 2, Breitweser, PR, 362.25. 3, Runyan, PR, 292.35.

200 medley relay: 1, Park Rapids (Benson, S. Fritze, Z. Fritze, Breitweser), 1:45.71. 2, Perham (Ke. Swanson, Skorup, Kehoe, Ky. Swanson), 1:58.15. 3, Park Rapids (Runyan, Hemenway, I. Zinniel, Odor), 2:06.36.

200 freestyle: 1, Strawsell, DL, 1:55.02. 2, Nichols, PR, 2:12.25. 3, J. Zinniel, PR, 2:19.67. 4, Backmann, PR, 2:19.75. 6, Graham, PR, 2:37.31.

200 individual medley: 1, Benson, PR, 2;09.83. 2, Zurn, DL, 2:26.34. 3, Odor, PR, 2:26.37. 5, I. Zinniel, PR, 2:42.73.

50 freestyle: 1, S. Fritze, PR, 22.57 (meet record). 2, Z. Fritze, PR, 23.96. 3, Kitzmann, DL, 25.12. 8, Martin, PR, 30.67. 11, Lichter, PR, 34.01.

100 butterfly: 1, Z. Fritze, PR, 1:01.05. 2, Nichols, PR, 1:04.72. 3, Zurn, DL, 1:06.63.

100 freestyle: 1, Kitzmann, DL, 56.84. 2, J. Zinniel, PR, 1:02.09. 3, Hemenway, PR, 1:04.36. 7, Martin, PR, 1:13.98.


500 freestyle: 1, Strawsell, DL, 5:10.14. 2, Odor, PR, 5:54.70. 3, Backmann, PR, 6:32.10.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Park Rapids (S. Fritze, Benson, Breitweser, Z. Fritze), 1:33.66. 2, Detroit Lakes (Gulon, Solberg, Kitzmann, Strawsell), 1:40.57. 3, Perham (Ky. Swanson, Ke. Swanson, Kehoe, Skorup), 1:45.18. 4, Park Rapids (Nichols, Martin, Backmann, J. Zinniel), 1:55.86.

100 backstroke: 1, Benson, PR, 55.60 (meet record). 2, Gulon, DL, 59.99. 3, Runyan, PR, 1:10.00. 4, I. Zinniel, PR, 1:11.37. 8, Lichter, PR, 1:26.68.

100 breaststroke: 1, Breitweser, PR, 1:09.91. 2, Skorup, PNYM, 1:14.52. 3, Hemenway, PR, 1:17.26. 4, Graham, PR, 1:28.29.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Detroit Lakes (Kitzmann, Zurn, Gulon, Strawsell), 3:46.45. 2, Park Rapids (Nichols, J. Zinniel, Backmann, Odor), 4:06.08. 3, Park Rapids (Runyan, I. Zinniel, Graham, Hemenway), 4:40.36.

Jake Zinniel's runner-up time of 1:02.09 in the 100-yard freestyle and third-place time of 2:19.67 in the 200-yard freestyle helped the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team win the Mid-State Conference title on Feb. 8. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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