Panthers qualify four for state meet

It was a memorable final Section 8A girls swimming and diving meet for Park Rapids seniors Kayla Andersen, Alyza Edevold, Paige Fritze and Tea Nyland.

     It was a memorable final Section 8A girls swimming and diving meet for Park Rapids seniors Kayla Andersen, Alyza Edevold, Paige Fritze and Tea Nyland.

     Those four qualified for the state Class A meet in five events during Saturday’s section finals at Warroad.

     Fritze, Andersen, Nyland and Edevold opened the section finals by winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:53.51.

     Nyland followed with a runner-up 2:18.03 in the 200 individual medley while Andersen clocked a runner-up 25.41 in the 50 freestyle to qualify for state.

     Nyland repeated as the section champion in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.12 and Andersen defended her section title in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.69 as both returned to state in those events.


     Those five efforts led the Panthers to fourth place with 272 points. Bemidji repeated as section champs with 393 points while Grand Rapids (339.50) and Detroit Lakes (330) followed.

     “I thought we had a good shot at getting quite a few spots,” said Park Rapids head coach Todd Fritze. “I knew it was going to be tough. All the races were really close. The girls swam really well.”

     The state Class A meet will be held Thursday and Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The Panthers have sent at least one swimmer or diver to state every year since 1994.


Panthers set tone during prelims

     The seniors set the tone to return to state during Friday’s preliminaries.

     Fritze’s 29.36 in the backstroke, Andersen’s 30.50 in the breaststroke, Nyland’s 27.08 in the butterfly and Edevold’s 26.87 in the freestyle gave the Panthers a winning time of 1:53.81 in the 200 medley relay. Detroit Lakes was second in 1:56.64.

     Senior Carly Waggoner (11th in 2:12.71) and junior Trinah Szafranski (12th in 2:13.09) qualified for the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle. Detroit Lakes’ Sydney Gulon had the fastest preliminary time of 2:02.76.


     Nyland led the way in the 200 individual medley with a 2:16.74 while sophomore Maija Hovelsrud earned a spot in the consolation finals by placing 10th in 2:28.52. Seventh grader Madison Robbins missed the finals by placing 18th in 2:39.19.

     Andersen took fourth in 25.59 while Edevold was ninth in 26.82 in the 50 freestyle. Crookston’s Haley Roed was first in 25.32.

     In the 100 butterfly, Nyland took first in 59.94 and Edevold was sixth in 1:07.16 as the Panthers qualified two for the finals.

     Fritze advanced to the finals in the 100 freestyle by placing sixth in 57.69. Roed had the fastest preliminary time of 55.55. Seventh grader Ellie Ulvin was 18th in 1:00.42.

     Szafranski qualified for the finals in the 500 freestyle by placing eighth in 5:55.91 while Waggoner was 10th in 6:02.41. Freshman Olivia Ulvin just missed advancing by placing 17th in 6:18.61. Bemidji’s Abby Yartz clocked a 5:27.54 to lead the pack.

     In the 200 freestyle relay, Ellie Ulvin, Waggoner, Olivia Ulvin and Szafranski finished eighth in 1:53.47. Crookston was first in 1:44.17.

     Fritze clocked a runner-up 1:03.51 in the 100 backstroke to finish behind the 1:01.87 by Crookston’s Kate MacGregor.  Robbins (18th in 1:12.01) and Ellie Ulvin (19th in 1:12.05) just missed advancing.

     Andersen clocked the best time of 1:07.89 and Hovelsrud followed in 1:12.31 as the Panthers advanced two in the 100 breaststroke.


     Nyland, Edevold, Andersen and Fritze closed preliminaries by placing fifth in the 400 freestyle in 4:00.94. Crookston had the fastest preliminary time of 3:47.57.

     “The prelims went great,” said Fritze. “We were sitting pretty good after the first day. Looking at the times, we knew going in that we had to swim fast.”


Panthers excel during finals

     Winning the 200 medley relay was the perfect way to start Saturday’s finals.

     Fritze’s 29.85 in the backstroke, Andersen’s 30.67 in the breaststroke, Nyland’s 26.77 in the butterfly and Edevold’s 26.22 in the freestyle gave the Panthers a 1:53.51 and the section title. Detroit Lakes was second in 1:54.97. Park Rapids, which was the No. 1 seed with a 1:56.19, scored 40 points in that relay.

     The Panthers added 11 points in the 200 freestyle as Szafranski finished 10th in 2:12.52 and Waggoner was 13th in 2:15.17. Gulon led the way with a 2:00.72.

     Nyland earned a trip to state in the 200 individual medley with a runner-up 2:18.03. Nyland was seeded fourth entering the section meet with a 2:23.62. Bemidji’s Libby McRae took first in 2:15.83. Hovelsrud finished ninth in 2:27.04 as the Panthers scored 26 points in that event.

     Andersen’s runner-up 25.41 and Edevold’s 10th-place 26.99 gave the Panthers 24 points in the 50 freestyle. Roed took first in 25.24. Andersen was the No. 3 seed entering the section meet with a 25.73.

     After Jada Current (13th with 272.80 points) and Katie Eischens (14th with 266.40 points) scored 7 points in diving (Detroit Lakes’ Emma Disse took first with 422.35 points), Nyland won the 100 butterfly in 1:00.12 and Edevold was seventh in 1:08.06 as the Panthers scored 32 points in that race. Nyland entered as the No. 2 seed with a 1:02.08.

     Fritze scored 11 points in the 100 freestyle by placing eighth with a 58.62 while Szafranski (eighth in 6:01.07) and Waggoner (10th in 6:00.89) scored 18 points in the 500 freestyle. Roed won the 100 freestyle in 54.20 while McRae took first in the 500 freestyle in 5:18.11.

     Bemidji won the 200 freestyle in 1:41.66 while the Panthers finished seventh in 1:51.63 behind Ellie Ulvin, Waggoner, Olivia Ulvin and Szafranski. That added 24 points to Park Rapids’ team score.

     Fritze just missed a trip to state in the 100 backstroke by placing third in 1:03.32. MacGregor took first in 1:01.12 and Bemidji’s Morgan Williams was second in 1:03.21. Fritze scored 16 points in that race.

     Andersen’s winning time of 1:07.69 and Hovelsrud’s fourth-place time of 1:11.98 gave the Panthers 35 points in the 100 breaststroke. Andersen entered as the No. 1 seed with a 1:10.98.

     Nyland, Edevold, Andersen and Fritze ended the meet by placing fifth in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:55.41. Bemidji took first in 3:44.98.

     “The girls were ready to race,” said Fritze. “The medley started us off and I thought the girls swam really well the whole day.”

     Entering the state meet, the Panthers are seeded No. 16 out of 20 teams in the 200 medley relay, Nyland is seeded No. 23 out of 25 swimmers in the 200 individual medley and No. 12 out of 22 swimmers in the 100 butterfly, and Andersen is seeded No. 17 out of 20 swimmers in the 50 freestyle and No. 8 out of 22 swimmers in the 100 breaststroke.

     “If we want to swim the second day, we have to drop some time,” said Fritze. “Our goal is to get a little faster at state.”


Team scores: Bemidji 393, Grand Rapids 339.50, Detroit Lakes 330, Park Rapids 272, Crookston 250, Fergus Falls 200, Thief River Falls 132, Perham 120, Staples-Motley 93.50, Fosston/Bagley 47, Warroad/Roseau 46.


Individual results

200 medley relay: 1, Park Rapids (Fritze, Andersen, Nyland, Edevold), 1:53.51. 2, Detroit Lakes, 1:54.97. 3, Grand Rapids, 1:56.75. 4, Fergus Falls, 1:58.86.

200 freestyle: 1, Gulon, DL, 2:00.72. 2, Williams, B, 2:02.60. 3, Ritchie, B, 2:05.11. 4, Kinnunen, GR, 2:06.72. 10, Szafranski, PR, 2:12.52. 13, Waggoner, PR, 2:15.17.

200 individual medley: 1, McRae, B, 2:15.83. 2, Nyland, PR, 2:18.03. 3, Tracy, DL, 2:18.54. 4, Reard, FF, 2:19.07. 9, Hovelsrud, PR, 2:27.04. 18, Robbins, PR, 2:39.19.

50 freestyle: 1, Roed, C, 25.24. 2, Andersen, PR, 25.41. 3, Henderson, DL, 25.48. 4, King, TRF, 25.65. 10, Edevold, PR, 26.99.

Diving: 1, Disse, DL, 422.35 points. 2, Yliniemi, DL, 398.15. 3, Hegg, DL, 397.80. 4, Olds, DL, 382.25. 13, Current, PR, 272.80. 14, Eischens, PR, 266.40.

100 butterfly: 1, Nyland, PR, 1:00.12. 2, Tracy, DL, 1:01.77. 3, MacGregor, C, 1:02.54. 4, Bustrom, GR, 1:04.53. 7, Edevold, PR, 1:08.06.

100 freestyle: 1, Roed, C, 54.20. 2, Bernard, GR, 55.98. 3, Henderson, DL, 56.25. 4, Andersen, B, 57.23. 8, Fritze, PR, 58.62. 18, E. Ulvin, PR, 1:00.42.

500 freestyle: 1, McRae, B, 5:18.11. 2, Gulon, DL, 5:21.83. 3, Yartz, B, 5:23.17. 4, Dingman, C, 5:46.22. 8, Szafranski, PR, 6:01.07. 10, Waggoner, PR, 6:00.89. 17, O. Ulvin, PR, 6:18.61.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Bemidji, 1:41.66. 2, Crookston, 1:42.16. 3, Grand Rapids, 1:43.21. 4, Fergus Falls, 1:45.38. 7, Park Rapids (E. Ulvin, Waggoner, O. Ulvin, Szafranski), 1:51.63.

100 backstroke: 1, MacGregor, C, 1:01.12. 2, Williams, B, 1:03.21. 3, Fritze, PR, 1:03.32. 4, Purdum, GR, 1:04.21. 18, Robbins, PR, 1:12.01. 19, E. Ulvin, PR, 1:12.05.

100 breaststroke: 1, Andersen, PR, 1:07.69. 2, Livermore, DL, 1:11.62. 3, Reard, FF, 1:11.69. 4, Hovelsrud, PR, 1:11.98.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Bemidji, 3:44.98. 2, Crookston, 3:45.55. 3, Detroit Lakes, 3:49.13. 4, Grand Rapids, 3:50.92. 5, Park Rapids (Nyland, Edevold, Andersen, Fritze), 3:55.41.

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