Cross Country: Park Rapids sweeps titles on home course

Nevis' Jade Rypkema wins the girls 5K race while the Panthers' Blaine Hensel sets the pace in the boys 5K race at Headwaters Golf Club.

Park Rapids' Natalia Lopez (473) and Madeline Brandt (463) lead a pack of runners during the Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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PARK RAPIDS – Members of the Park Rapids girls and boys cross country teams took advantage of running on their home course by sweeping titles at the Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club on Monday, Sept. 26.

The Park Rapids girls edged out United North Central to capture their second straight title while the Park Rapids boys posted a perfect team score in winning their fifth title in six meets this season in the five-team field.

Nevis’ Jade Rypkema, who is once again rated as the No. 2 runner in this week’s state Class A poll, set the pace with a winning time of 18:46 over the new 5K course while United North Central’s Anjalie Aho followed in 19:50. Park Rapids’ Morgan Koppelman finished third in 21:05.

Park Rapids' Embry Deshayes (465) and United North Central's Maci Josephson, Elsa Komppa (482) and Joanna Lehto (483) run in a pack during the Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Rounding out Park Rapids’ team score of 42 points were Julia Harmon (seventh in 21:40), Madeline Brandt (ninth in 22:37), Natalia Lopez (12th in 22:52) and Aleka London (14th in 23:00). The other varsity runners for the Panthers were Sarah Hartung (16th in 23:14) and Embry Deshayes (18th in 23:56).

Elsa Komppa (10th in 22:44), Joanna Lehto (11th in 22:47), Macie Josephson (13th in 22:55) and Mattea Smith (19th in 24:07) completed UNC’s runner-up finish of 50 points. Miley Westberg (21st in 24:43) and Kaylee Westberg (23rd in 25:38) also ran for the Warriors.


Adeline Bjorklund finished fourth in 21:24 while Grace McNamee (22nd in 25:36), Emily Funk (25th in 26:50) and Sarah Boettcher (28th in 30:00) gave Nevis 74 points for fourth place. West Marshall took third with 66 points while Clearbrook-Gonvick fielded an incomplete team.

In the boys 5K race, Blaine Hensel led the pack with a winning time of 17:42 while Noah Huot was second in 17:48, Eli Bervig took third in 17:55, Ephraim Bervig was fourth in 18:07 and Logan Maanum finished fifth in 18:09 to give Park Rapids a perfect team score of 15. Thomas Lopez (seventh in 18:24) and Asher Bervig (eighth in 18:28) also ran varsity for the Panthers, who remained in the No. 3 spot behind Heritage Christian Academy and Perham in this week’s state poll.

Nevis' Elijah Peterson (507) sprints toward the finish line at the Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Nevis finished second with 52 points behind top 10 times by Elijah Peterson (sixth in 18:22) and Evan Pohl (ninth in 18:31). Isaac Bessler (10th in 20:45), Spencer Lindow (11th in 21:15) and Jeffery Walker (17th in 24:21) completed the Tigers’ team score.

United North Central had an incomplete team with Wesley Hodge (14th in 23:08) and Henry Hultberg (18th in 24:25) competing.

West Marshall finished third with 71 points while Clearbrook-Gonvick also had an incomplete team.

United North Central's Henry Hultberg approaches the finishes line at the Park Rapids Invitational on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

“It was a beautiful night for a meet out at Headwaters. A huge thanks to the Headwaters staff for letting us use their course again. Having a home meet is a good experience for our runners who do so much traveling. They were glad to run at home,” said Park Rapids head coach Patrick Richard. “I was satisfied with how the boys and girls ran. It was fun to see some of our junior high runners take a shot at the 5K and see where they landed in the results. The 5th and 6th grade race was also a highlight. For many of them, it's their first race, so they were definitely excited to race. It was a great night of running by all.”

“I was very happy with the kids. We are training through these meets trying to get kids ready for sections,” said Nevis head coach Tom Stambaugh. “Adeline is coming along nicely and has a shot to place well at sections. Jade looks great and it was fun to see her run locally. It could be a while before northern Minnesota sees another runner at her level. For a couple basketball players just running to get in shape, Isaac and Spencer are fun to watch as well. Both have improved immensely and are doing great. They will have a great winter season. I thought the junior high kids ran great. It was fun to see young ones so excited about the sport and compete.”

“All of our runners did great. What a great day to race for the UNC Warriors,” said UNC co-head coach Nick Jasmer. “We were very proud of all the times and finishes our runners had. I think it really shows off the hard work that these runners are putting in at practice every day.”


Girls team scores: Park Rapids 42, United North Central 50, West Marshall 66, Nevis 74, Clearbrook-Gonvick incomplete.

Individual results

1, Jade Rypkema, N, 18:46. 2, Anjalie Aho, UNC, 19:50. 3, Morgan Koppelman, PR, 21:05. 4, Adeline Bjorklund, N, 21:24. 5, Annie Peterson, WM, 21:32. 7, Julia Harmon, PR, 21:40. 9, Madeline Brandt, PR, 22:37. 10, Elsa Komppa, UNC, 22:44. 11, Joanna Lehto, UNC, 22:47. 12, Natalia Lopez, PR, 22:52. 13, Macie Josephson, UNC, 22:55. 14, Aleka London, PR, 23:00. 16, Sarah Hartung, PR, 23:14. 18, Embry Deshayes, PR, 23:56. 19, Mattea Smith, UNC, 24:07. 21, Miley Westberg, UNC, 24:43. 22, Grace McNamee, N, 25:36. 23, Kaylee Westberg, UNC, 25:38. 25, Emily Funk, N, 26:50. 28, Sarah Boettcher, N, 30:00. JV: Alessia Harmon, PR, 26:15; Brianna George, UNC, 26:50; Breanna DeBlieck, PR, 28:39.

Boys team scores: Park Rapids 15, Nevis 52, West Marshall 71, United North Central incomplete, Clearbrook-Gonvick incomplete.

Individual results

1, Blaine Hensel, PR, 17:42. 2, Noah Huot, PR, 17:48. 3, Eli Bervig, PR, 17:55. 4, Ephraim Bervig, PR, 18:07. 5, Logan Maanum, PR, 18:09. 6, Elijah Peterson, N, 18:22. 7, Thomas Lopez, PR, 18:24. 8, Asher Bervig, PR, 18:28. 9, Evan Pohl, N, 18:31. 10, Isaac Bessler, N, 20:45. 11, Spencer Lindow, N, 21:15. 14, Wesley Hodge, UNC, 23:08. 17, Jeffery Walker, N, 24:21. 18, Henry Hultberg, UNC, 24:25. JV: Parker Larson, PR, 19:56; Jarett Galzki, PR, 20:07; Damien Dejarlais, PR, 20:31; Pierce DeBlieck, PR, 20:43; Jayson Ward, PR, 20:44; Jack Mitteness, PR, 20:57; Nolan Eckmann, PR, 21:13; Tobias Bervig, PR, 21:4; Castle London, PR, 21:51; Sean Ward, PR, 22:35; Cameron Runyan, PR, 22:52; Aidan Yliniemi Hensel, PR, 22:52; Matt Dahring, PR, 22:52; Josh Conway, PR, 24:38; Leo Kaufenberg, PR, 25:01; Kamron Hagen, PR, 25:41.

Junior high girls (3K): Anaya Aho, UNC, 14:29. 4, Erika Keranen, UNC, 14:53. 6, Amelia Gravdahl, PR, 15:41. 8, Taylor Monroe, N, 15:52. 9, Alison Nelson, N, 15:54. 10, Miranda Kowalke, N, 15:54. 11, Makenzie Mack, PR, 16:04. 12, Mari Lehto, UNC, 16:40. 13, Aubrey Smith, UNC, 16:46. 14, Sophie Reysack, UNC, 16:53. 15, Abbygail Phelps, UNC, 16:57. 18, Tess Isaacson, UNC, 17:27.

Junior high boys (3K): 1, Brennyn Ott, N, 13:00. 2, Levi Gack, PR, 13:12. 3, Wyatt Wroblewski, N, 13:51. 4, Andrew Mercil, PR, 13:55. 5, Max DeBlieck, PR, 14:27. 6, Owen Ackerman, PR, 15:00. 8, Draden Puchalla, N, 16:15. 10, Dominic Brissett, PR, 16:46. 11, Ryder Peterson, N, 16:50. 12, Noah Kramer, N, 19:13.

Annika Aho, Nathaniel Bervig and Kolby Brandt compete at collegiate level.

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